Hometown Heroes: Greg Hamilton, volunteer chaplain with the Texas DPS

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By DAVID SWEARINGEN
TheFlashToday.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: Residents of Erath County are very fortunate to have many men and women who make living here safe, many of whom are volunteers. They are Hometown Heroes! These people keep us safe and we owe them our thanks and our respect.  THANK YOU!

ERATH COUNTY (December 9, 2016) – This week The Flash Today would like to recognize Greg Hamilton as a Hometown Hero.  He was born in Lubbock on December 26, 1973, and has lived in Stephenville ever since he was about 3 years old.  Hamilton graduated from Stephenville High School in 1992.  While at SHS he was active in 4-H and during his senior year he was a part of the meats judging team who went to state.  He was also an athletic trainer for four years.  He later attended Tarleton State University.    

He is married to Polly Hamilton and they have two sons, Evan and Eastman. Hamilton is self-employed and stays quite busy.  Besides being a husband and father, he basically has four other full-time jobs.  He owns/runs Hambone’s Catering, Hambone’s Redneck Paradise and Hamilton Enterprises Lawn and Landscaping.

But Hamilton also volunteers for the Department of Public Safety and works very closely with the area highway patrolmen.  He is an ordained minister and began his journey in the ministry of the church when he served as a Youth Pastor for the First Baptist Church of Strawn at the age of 18. 

Although, Hamilton does not wear a uniform with the area Department of Public Safety (DPS), but he performs many of the same duties as an official chaplain with the department. Hamilton is the only person who performs these duties in all of Erath County. And, he does so as a volunteer.

Greg Hamilton with his family
Greg Hamilton with his family

His relationship with the men and women of the local DPS office began in 2002 when Hamilton fed the officers who were assigned to patrol the highways during the Larry Joe Taylor Music Festival.  This was his way of showing them his appreciation and he continues this practice to this day. A few years later he started offering his property on Highway 108 as a command post (or relaxation station) for the troopers. 

For many years now, Hambone’s has been feeding the troopers as well as providing them with a relaxation station on the Hamilton property.  The relaxation station is open 24 hours a day and provides coffee and snacks for the men and women working to keep concert goers safe. Hamilton jokes, with a smile, he doesn’t get much sleep during the week of the LJT Music Festival.

In his voluntary position with the DPS, Hamilton provides a very valuable service to the community and to the troopers.  He provides spiritual counseling for the troopers and accompanies them on the sad occasions when they have to go to a household to announce a death notice. 

Hamilton draws on his ministerial experience and training to help him when he has to deliver the death notice to the family members.  The troopers rely heavily on his counseling, friendship and prayers to help them cope with the stresses that are involved in their profession.  Hamilton said there have also been times when the troopers have ministered to him, as well.  They are not just friends and co-workers, they are like a family, he said.

The Hamilton family attends the First Baptist Church of Stephenville along with several of the troopers and their families. Several of the members from First Baptist Church have gone on mission trips to Oaxaca, Mexico (a state south of Mexico City) numerous times. During these medical mission trips, Hamilton and others assist the doctors and dentists as they attend to the Mexican citizens.  Several medical services are provided to those in need including eye exams and the gift of free prescription glasses.

Below is what Sergeant Lynn Pierce (Department of Public Safety) had to say about Greg Hamilton:

“Greg Hamilton is a fine Christian man. He works really hard, cares a lot about the community and is always there to serve others. I think that is what makes him happy,” said Sergeant Lynn Pierce, Texas DPS. “He is not after any personal glory and it is obvious what makes Greg happy is helping others.  We are glad to have him helping us with anything we need.”

Sgt. Pierce wrote and performed the song, Long-Haired Bearded Preacher, which he says is about Hamilton.

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