Covenant Spotlight
Cover Story: Honoring their service…then and now Cover Story: Honoring their service…then and now
The ladies of Progressive Baptist’s Veterans Ministry    In honor of Veterans Day this month, we’re blessed to share and thank these special ladies... Cover Story: Honoring their service…then and now

The ladies of Progressive Baptist’s Veterans Ministry 

  In honor of Veterans Day this month, we’re blessed to share and thank these special ladies of the PBC Veterans Ministry, who served our country then, and still serve our community and its Veterans today. We thank all our Veterans for their service and sacrifice for our great nation.  

 

Name: Minister Betty Sellman 

Years attended PBC: 2011 to present 

Position in the Veterans Ministry: Program committee member 

Branch of military service U.S. Army 

Rank/placement in military: First Lieutenant, Air Defense Artillery 

Responsibilities: Trained in a Hawk Missile unit  

Platoon leader: Responsible for the supervision, training and morale of a missile firing platoon. Supervised eight noncommissioned officers. 

Drug and Alcohol Counselor: 

At William Beaumont Army Medical Center for one and a half years. Counseled drug and alcohol patients in a group setting who were referred by their commanders for treatment.  

Time/places spent/served in U.S. 

Active duty for 3 years at Fort Bliss, TX from 1980-82: Individual ready reserve for a year after 

Time/places spent/served in-country outside of U.S.: N/A 

Military honors/classes: 

Army service ribbon 

Air Defense Artillery Office Basic Course; Improved Hawk Officer course; USA Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation training Course  

Special family details: Married for thirty-seven years to Robert H. Sellman III, who was an Air Defense Artillery Captain in the United States Army with the 2nd Infantry Division and school instructor. We have two sons Robert H. Sellman IV, a Volkswagen salesman/consultant in Lafayette LA and Desmond Sellman a manager for AT&T in Virginia Beach NC. A daughter in love Nadia and grand-daughter Nori. 

Biggest challenge facing our Veterans today: A lack of timely and adequate healthcare as well as financial instability. Sometimes there is a problem because of experiences or traumas with assimilating back into society. 

One thing you’d like those who haven’t served to know about Veterans:   

Many veterans have given selflessly to honorably serve their country. As a result, they should be taken care of when they return home, particularly if they have been injured mentally or physically. Veterans tend to be dedicated workers who have skill sets which prepare them to be successful in civilian jobs.  

Name: Tina Viltz  

Years attended PBC: 13 years  

Position in the Veterans Ministry: Member 

Branch of military service: U.S. Air Force 

Rank/placement in military: Master Sergeant (E-7) 

Responsibilities: Information Manager of Office Administration 

Time/places spent/served in U.S.: 1976-2000 (24 years) – Langley AFB, Hampton, Virginia (1977-79 and 1981-84; Norton AFB, San Bernadino, CA (1980-1981); AF Recruiting, Houston, TX (1981-84); Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (1984); England AFB, Alexandria, LA (19; Oklahoma City, OK; Bossier City, LA 

Time/places spent/served in-country outside of U.S.: Azores, Portugal (1979-1980); Osan AB, Korea (1995-1996); Incirlik, Turkey (Temporary duty).  

Military honors: Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal (3), Air Force Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal (2), Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter, Johnson Space Center.  

Special family details: One daughter, Nicole. 

Biggest challenge facing our Veterans today: The biggest challenge facing our Veterans today is the same as its always beenthe very people they sacrifice themselves to protect, do not take care of them in return. Their fight for medical benefits and compensation is shameful on our nation. 

One thing you’d like those who haven’t served to know about Veterans: There is no other profession where a person chooses to lay down their life for the love of country and mankind, other than in the armed forces. What other profession then is more honorable? 

Name: Theresa L. Garrison 

Years attended PBC: 3 years 

Position in the Veterans Ministry: Member 

Branch of military service: U.S. Army 

Rank/placement in military: Sergeant 

Responsibilities: Load and unload cargo ships by operating crane. Transport equipment and supplies on flatbed truck and off load by forklift. 

Time/places spent/served in U.S.: 7 years, Ft. Eustis, VA 

Time/places spent/served in-country outside of U.S.:  1 year, Saudi Arabia; 1 year, Camp Humphreys, Korea 

Military honors:  Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal w/3 Bronze Service Stars, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon w/2, NCO Professional Development Ribbon w/2, Army Service Ribbon      

Special family details 

Single mother of Alexander and daughter Alexis; native of New Orleans, living in Lafayette for the last 3½ years. 

Biggest challenge facing our Veterans today:  Returning home from combat living the experience over and over in your head without anyone understanding. 

One thing you’d like those who haven’t served to know about Veterans:  

Once a soldier always a soldier.  We recognize our comrades on the spot and a veteran will step up to assist without being asked. 

 

About the Progressive Baptist Church Veterans Ministry (Info provided by Leo Dixon)

Why did the PBC Veterans Ministry begin?
   Being a veteran seeing and speaking with the veteran members of Progressive Baptist Church and the community caused us to come together and speak about common issues of interest. Thereafter, we met with Pastor Lloyd Joiner, Jr. explaining our concerns.  

   After that meeting with much discussion and prayers the Progressive Baptist Church Veterans Committee was formed in 2009. We presented our first Veterans Day Program on Veterans Day in 2010. It was a success and very well attended. It became a yearly event afterwards.

What does your ministry strive to offer to Veterans in our community?
   Our goal is to assist veterans and their family members concerning benefits, services and other assistance that may be available to them. In saying that, we have partnered with ULL Upward Bound Program, La. Department of Veterans Affairs, along with other VSO’s (Veterans Service Organizations) in presenting Veteran’s Benefits Briefings.  

   As a Ministry we know that many veterans and family members have benefited from these meetings. It is our plan to continue to have these informative and educational meetings. We also plan to continue our annual Veterans Day Program.

What day is your 11th Annual Veterans Day Program?  

   Due to COVID-19 our program has been cancelled for this year. It was scheduled for November 7, 2020. Our guest speaker was to be Bishop Stanley Sinegal also Acadiana High School Air Force JROTC and Comeaux High School Navy JROTC. The location was to be Progressive Baptist Church, and the community was invited. For more information on future Veteran’s Day programs, please contact Minister Lisa Lazard at PBC at 337-234-3924.

What other Veteran resources do our readers need to know about in Acadiana?
   DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Chapter 2 Lafayette, La.; ULL Upward Bound Program; Veterans Action Coalition of Southwest La.; Lafayette VA Clinic; La. Department of Veterans Affairs, along with other VSO’s (Veteran Service Organizations) in this area. 

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