CH. (Col.) Clayton Hoffman Ret., 82, of Amarillo died January 13, 2020.
Viewing will be from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Thursday, January 16, 2020 at the Texas Panhandle War Memorial, 4101 S. Georgia St. Funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, January 16, 2020 at First Baptist Church Sanctuary, 1208 S. Tyler St. Interment will be in DFW National Cemetery in Dallas. Arrangements are by Schooler Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers family requests donations be made to VFW Post 430 PO Box 417, Canyon, Texas 79015 , Panhandle War Memorial 4101 S. Georgia, Amarillo, Texas 79110 or Volleys For Veterans PO Box 1503 Amarillo, Texas 79105.
***********************************(Composed by CH (Col) Clayton Hoffman Ret.) ******************************************
Chaplain (Colonel) Clayton Hoffman retired from the United States Army effective 1 September 1997, after serving 31 years 08 months and 23 days. During his career he was awarded, the Legion of Merit Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award with Oak Leaf Clusters), Medal of Merit Outstanding Service Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (2nd Award with Oak Leaf Clusters), National Defense Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal (SA), Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Clusters, Global War on Terrorism Service, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Devise, Lone Star Distinguished Service Medal, Texas Medal of Merit, Texas Faithful Service Medal and Cold War Service Certificate.
Colonel Hoffman began his distinguished career when he joined the Alabama National Guard (4.2 Mortar Artillery) in Butler, Alabama on 9 August 1954. He was promoted to Staff Sergeant and was Chief of the Fire Direction Center (Artillery Battery with a MOS of 13-E). On 21 August 1962, he joined Battery A, 4th Battalion, 83rd Artillery, USAR on Hertel Street in Mobile, Alabama. He served as the Chief of Section (13-B) on an 8-inch towed howitzer. He was given an Honorable Discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States of America which states: “This is to certify that Staff Sergeant (E-6) Wilbern Clayton Hoffman, ER 24 611 237, ARTY-USAR, who enlisted 9 August 1954, was Honorably Discharged from the Army of the United States on the 20th day of August 1962. This certificate is awarded as a testimonial of Honest and Faithful Service.” Signed Robert L. Lock, Lt. Colonel, TC.
He attended Auburn University from September, 1958 to May, 1959. He took a five-year sabbatical from school and worked for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in Mobile, Alabama. Within a year he was promoted to engine foreman. However, the desire to complete college and seminary sent him back to the world of academia.
Between 21 August 1962 - December 1966, he completed the requirement for Bachelor of Science Degree at the University of Mobile in Mobile, Alabama. He was the first student to complete the requirements for graduation at this university. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and graduated in absentia on May 12th, 1967. He enrolled in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas in January 1967. He graduated with a Master of Divinity Degree on May 7, 1971. He served as pastor of Morvin Baptist Church, Morvin, Alabama; Knox Street Baptist Church, Ft. Worth, Texas; First Baptist Church, Holliday, Texas; Avondale Baptist Church (presently Coulter Road Baptist Church), Amarillo, Texas and Immanuel Baptist Church, Abilene, Texas.
After a break in his military service, 20 August 1962 - 9 December 1976, he received a direct commission in the United States Army Reserves as a First Lieutenant in the Army Chaplains Corp on 10 December 1976. He served as a hospital chaplain with the 829th Medical Command Hospital Station USAR, Lubbock, Texas from 5 March 1977 to 20 May 1977. On 21 May 1977, he was assigned to the 3rd Battalion of the 112th Armor (TXARNG) Brownwood, Texas. During his tenure with the 3rd BN he was promoted to Captain. He was ordered to active duty 24 July 1980 - 2 October 1982, as an intern in Clinical Pastoral Education at Brooke Army Medical Center at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. He did additional graduate studies in advanced Clinical Pastoral Educating and Pastoral Counseling at Baptist Memorial Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.
During his time at Baptist Memorial Hospital he began working on a Doctor of Ministry Degree with an emphasis in Pastoral Counseling with San Francisco Presbyterian Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, California. He wrote his Dissertation on Anger in Southern Baptist Clergy with Negative and Positive Aspects of Ministry. He received his Doctor of Ministry Degree with an emphasis in Pastoral Counseling on 24 May 1988.
When he completed his internship in Clinical Pastoral Education at Brooke Army Medical Center, he returned to Amarillo as the Director of the Department of Pastoral Services at High Plains Baptist Hospital. This job allowed him to continue to serve his country in the Texas Army National Guard. From 2 October 1982 to 3 March 1983, he served as the Battalion Chaplain with Headquarters of the 142nd Infantry Battalion of the Texas Army National Guard in Amarillo, Texas. On 2 March 1983, he was assigned as the Second Brigade Chaplain 49th Armor Division (TXANG) in Ft. Worth, Texas. He was promoted to Major 12 March 1983. On 1 May 1988, he was assigned to the 217th Evacuation Hospital (TXANG) in San Antonio,Texas. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 13 October 1988.
On 27 December 1990, he was activated with the 217th Evacuation Hospital for Desert Storm. He was deployed to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with the unit on 14 January 1991 as the Senior Chaplain and Psychotherapist. The 217th Evacuation Hospital was stationed with the King Fiscal Hospital in Riyadh. CH (LTC) Horace O. Duke, CH (MAJ) Charles Meyers and CH (LTC) Wilbern C. Hoffman were assigned the responsibility to write and implement the “Redeployment/Reunion Program” for the army. Chaplain Hoffman was assigned to Headquarters, US ARCENT in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia order number 12-4 dated 7 March 1991. His duty area included Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the border of Iraq. Chaplain Hoffman debriefed over 25,000 soldiers including 82nd Airborne, 101st Airborne, Medical Units and Support and Maintenance personnel in Saudi Arabia. He returned to the United States and was released from active duty on 9 July 1991. For his work and dedication, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
The narrative for his “Bronze Star Medal” reads; “Lieutenant Colonel (his rank at that time) Wilbern C. Hoffman, distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service and achievement during the period 14 Jan – 31 May 91 (to include the Persian Gulf War, 17 Jan - 28 Feb 91) in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain. During this period, he served as the senior chaplain of the 217th Hospital. Effective 1 Feb 91, he assumed the additional responsibility as a Redeployment-Reunion Program Team Leader.
During SCUD attacks, he heroically disregarded his safety to provide spiritual and psychological support to medical personnel in Riyadh and Dhahran who became panic-stricken, or experienced claustrophobia. He also distinguished himself by anticipating the need of audio visual materials for the Redeployment-Reunion Program. It was his distinguished expertise, professionalism, knowledge of logistical support, understanding for the culture and mores of the host nation that made it possible for the production, taping, recording and reproduction of the video tape, sculptured and implemented the Redeployment-Reunion seminars at the King Fahad International Airport. His distinguished expertise and professionalism provided a milieu and opportunity for the soldiers to experience debriefing, counseling and coping skills. His compassion, enthusiasm, genuine care, concern, psychological expertise and ingenuity of leading the Redeployment-Reunion Seminars were unprecedented and served as pacesetter for the other Redeployment-Reunion team leaders. Chaplain Hoffman’s distinguished skills, self-reliant enterprise, cheerful cooperative attitude and support of the Persian Gulf War veterans have earned for himself the respect and admiration of the superiors and subordinates of the Persian Gulf Theater.”
Based upon his significant work in Desert Storm the Chief of Chaplains requested that Chaplain Hoffman be assigned to a position at the Pentagon. During this interim period his beautiful wife, Mary surprised him with a twelve-day vacation in Hawaii. They visited five of the islands.
On 4 September 1991 - 5 June 1992 he served as IMA Chaplain with the USAR Control Group (Reinf), St. Louis. Missouri while orders were being cut for his assignment to the Pentagon. He served in the office of the Chief of Chaplains in the Pentagon, Washington D. C. as an IMA (IMRL) Chaplain from 6 June 1992 - 3 June 1994. While at the Pentagon he wrote the “Family Life Chaplain Counseling Program.” He was promoted to Colonel 12 October 1993.
Chaplain Hoffman was the IMA Installation Chaplain with HQ Joint Readiness Training Center, Ft. Polk, Louisiana from 4 July 1994 - 30 March 1995.From 31 March 1995 - 06 December 1995, he served as the IMA Command chaplain at USA Field Artillery Center, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. From 07 December 1995 - 04 January 1996 he served with the USAR Control Group (Reinforce) St Louis, Missouri. From 05 January 1996 - 30 August 1997 he served with 90th Regional Support Group and was assigned to Detachment 1 of the 4003d USAG, SU, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as Staff Chaplain. During this time he was ordered to active duty as the Command Chaplain and Psychotherapist at Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas for four months. His responsibility was to assist in the closing of Ft. Chaffee as an active duty post and the transferring of Ft. Chaffee to the Arkansas National Guard. Upon the completion of this mission Chaplain (Colonel) Wilbern Clayton Hoffman retired effective 01 September 1997 with 31 years, 08 months and 23 days of service. On 2 September 1997 he was awarded the “Legion of Merit Medal.”
The narrative of the Legion of Merit reads, “Colonel Wilbern C. Hoffman is recommended for award of the Legion of Merit for exceptionally Meritorious Service throughout his military career of over 32 years in the Army National Guard, Active Army, and United States Army Reserve, culminating in his assignment as staff Chaplain, Detachment 1, 4003d United States Garrison Support Unit. Colonel Hoffman’s career has been long, varied, and marked by outstanding service. In 1990, Colonel Hoffman deployed to Saudi Araba with the 217th Evacuation Hospital. His expertise in counseling and pastoral care was instrumental in ensuring a successful mobilization and deployment of the command. While serving in the Persian Gulf he led the production of the video ‘Operation Reentry: The Road Leading Home.’ He trained Chaplains throughout the Persian Gulf to prepare their units for redeployment. He performed over 100 seminars to 231 units, helping them to cope with the trauma of combat and the stress of redeployment. In all, Colonel Hoffman served over 2500 soldiers from all services showing his dedication to his own unit, and to the entire community. For these efforts he was awarded the Bronze Star by 3rd Army.
Upon redeployment, he served two years in the office of the Chief of Chaplains in the Pentagon. There, he wrote a Family Life Chaplains program for the Army, United States Army Reserve, and the Army National Guard. This program is currently being tested in Veteran Administration hospitals across the country. He has also served as IMA Installation Chaplain for HQ, JRTC and Ft Polk, and IMA Command Chaplain, Ft Sill.
Colonel Hoffman has also volunteered to serve as Command Chaplain to the Military Entrance Processing Station and recruiters in the entire Panhandle area. Here is an example of his ability to identify a need then immediately implement a plan to meet that need. Now, members from all services who previously had no chaplain support have access in much-needed counseling and pastoral care. This very successful program was adopted in 1995 as the Chaplain Reserve Support Program (CSRP). The CSRP has been implemented in all recruiting areas and is coordinated through the United States Army Recruiting Command (USARC).
Most recently Colonel Hoffman has served with the 4003rd United States Army Garrison Support Unit. There, as he has throughout his career, he has distinguished himself by daily demonstrating initiative, enthusiasm, professionalism, confidence, and his superb leadership abilities. He has spent countless hours to provide pastoral care to all members of the unit, and also to members of nearby units that have no chaplain support. His skills as communicator, counselor, and theologian have deeply enriched the worship services, and have made a major positive impact on the moral and spiritual condition of the unit. During this time, he also served as Post Chaplain of Ft Chaffee. There, he assumed responsibility for the weekly worship services and provided pastoral care during the crucial time preceding the deactivation of Ft. Chaffee as an active Army post.
Over his long Army career, Colonel Hoffman has served in units ranging from the Military Police, Infantry, Field Artillery, and Armor to Hospitals, Garrison Support and the Pentagon. He has served all with the same exemplary leadership, dedication and professionalism. Colonel Hoffman’s outstanding distinguished service to the United States Army reflects the highest credit on him and is in keeping with the most honored tradition of military service to the defense of our nation.”
In 1988 Dr. Hoffman went into private practice and established Pastoral Counseling Services in Amarillo, Texas. He is a retired Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Board Certified Chaplain and Clinical Member of Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. He is a member of the Texas Licensed Professional Counselor’s Association, Texas Marriage and Family Therapist Association and Amarillo Area Association of Mental Health Professionals. He serves as the liaison in providing one hour of free therapy per week to veterans, their families and the Amarillo Area Association of Mental Health Professionals. Dr. Hoffman continues to counsel veterans and their families’ pro bono. He is on the board of Amarillo Community Veteran Engagement Board which is a forum for local collaboration among public and private resources, services and advocate that provide services to veterans in the Panhandle of Texas.
He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and charter member of Post 430 in Randall County. This is a no smoking, no drinking on premises and family-oriented post. He served as Jr-Vice Commander, Sr-Vice Commander and Commander of VFW Post 430. He served as District 9 Jr-Vice Commander, Sr-Vice Commander and Commander. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Texas Panhandle War Memorial (See copy of plaque on page 7). He served on the board of the former Texas-America Supports You, a support group for active duty, veterans and their families. He was part of the group who was instrumental in bringing the Ussery - Roan Texas Veterans Home to Amarillo which opened in 2007.
In 2004, he was the co-founder of “Volleys for Veterans.” He was commander of “Volleys for Veterans” and VFW District 9 for numerous years. Volleys for Veterans is a group of veterans who render full military honors for funerals for veterans including “taps,” three volleys, folding and presenting the United States Flag, and arranging for the patriot guard who serve as escorts for funeral homes and placing flags in the cemetery, church, and funeral home. Also, he worked to obtain a Texas Veterans Cemetery in the Panhandle which he hopes to become a reality.
He is a Paul Harris Fellow with the Rotary International. His certificate states: “The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, Colonel W. Clayton Hoffman is hereby named a Paul Harris Fellow in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.” Signed by Hugh M. Archer, Chairman of the Trustees of the Rotary Foundation and Bill Huntley, President Rotary International.
The year 2018 was a climatic and distinguished period for Colonel Hoffman. He was inducted into the 28th Annual Panhandle Veterans Hall of Honor on August 11, 2018. The banquet and the induction were hosted by The Freedom Museum USA and VFW Post 1657 at 105 S, Cuyler in Pampa, Texas. He joined 123 warriors who have previously been inducted into the Hall of Honor. The Panhandle Veterans Hall of Honor is displayed in the Waters Holt Room, Freedom Museum USA, 600 N. Hobart Street, Pampa, Texas. The information may also be viewed online at www.freedommuseumusa.org.
The plaque states: Panhandle Veterans HALL OF HONOR 2018, United PAAF AND VFW. We Stand Recognizing Outstanding Service to Our Country and Our Community, W. CLAYTON HOFFMAN US ARMY/US CHAPLAIN CORP –DESERT HONOR, Presented by Freedom Museum U.S. A. Pampa, Texas
Also, he was one of 149 warriors selected to go on the Texas Panhandle Honor Flight to Washington, D. C. September 13-15-2018. The veterans visited the Word War II, Korean, Vietnam, Marine Memorial, Marine Memorial (Iwo Jima), Arlington National Cemetery with the changing of the guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, US Air Force Memorial, US Capitol tour conducted by Representative Mac Thornberry and his wife Sally, and the Naval Yard. There were large groups in Amarillo and Baltimore in the sendoff and return to greet and honor the veterans.
Dr. Hoffman is very grateful to High Plains Baptist Hospital and his clients for giving him space to balance his service with the active army, national guard and reserves. From his military retirement on September 1, 1997 to his retirement as a pastoral counselor, he was fully devoted to his clients. He retired from his private practice of Pastoral Counseling Services 31 December 2007.
COL Hoffman is very grateful to his wife, Mary, a warrior for his team and mother of his children, Clay, Ashley and Chris. He was humbled by the support of his church, friends, fellow veterans, superior officers who believed in him and clients who reciprocated in love of his ministry.
Our Lord has richly blessed Chaplain Hoffman, his family and ministry to his clients, the military and this great country.