Holiday pastor serves fellow veterans, invites all to spring festival
Tampa Bay Times
Ernie and Regina Bullock
By Sarah Whitman
Published March 12
Ernie Bullock served nearly two tours in Vietnam, and survived the 1968 Tet Offensive.
The former U.S. Marine, who also served with the Air Force, returned from war in 1970 a changed and broken man.
He has since dedicated his life to counseling and serving veterans.
Bullock works at the Veterans Hospital in Sarasota and as an associate pastor at Holiday Community Fellowship Church in Pasco. He leads the church’s veteran outreach, a chapter of Point Man International Ministries.
Bullock joined the organization in the 1990s when he became a Christian and led a chapter in New York before moving to Florida two years ago.
The outreach will host a free Spring Festival at Holiday Community Fellowship Church, 5144 Sunray Drive, from noon to 4 p.m. on March 16. Families are invited to come meet firefighters, members of law enforcement and veterans, play games and participate in youth activities. Veterans and their families will serve as volunteers.
“It is essential for children and others to meet veterans and law enforcement and emergency responders,” Bullock said. “People of all ages need to understand these men and women care for others and rise to the call of duty every time they walk through the doors at work. Some of these people have given up their lives to save someone else.”
Last year, about 150 people attended the festival. About 25 volunteers helped organize the second annual event. Many participate in Point Man’s meet-ups at church.
The members form a community with common histories and purpose, Bullock said.
Bullock ministers often to veterans struggling to reconcile their experiences with daily life.
“Many veterans get stuck in grief, but also many are stuck in anger,” Bullock said. “I believe the worst of the anger should be dealt with in therapy groups in VA hospitals. However, churches have a role in recovery, too.”
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