Cover photo for CH (Col.) Clayton Hoffman. Ret's Obituary
CH (Col.) Clayton Hoffman. Ret Profile Photo
1937 CH 2020

CH (Col.) Clayton Hoffman. Ret

August 5, 1937 — January 13, 2020

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

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.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of CH (Col.) Clayton Hoffman. Ret, please visit our flower store.

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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