Hobbs receives veteran award

Dr. Harry Hobbs and his wife, Erica, at the Madison Rotary Club meeting on Nov. 8 in the Hogan Family YMCA. (Record photo by Anna Durrett.)

Madison is home to a wealth of veterans, and Dr. Harry Hobbs of the Huntsville Police Department is one of them.

The Rotary Club of Madison presented Hobbs the 2012 Madison City Outstanding Veteran award Nov. 8 at the Hogan Family YMCA on Hughes Road.

Rotary Club of Madison President Emily McIntosh bestows the 2012 Outstanding Veteran award to Dr. Harry Hobbs. (Contributed)

Hobbs, 52, found his calling when he was about 7. “I wanted to be a soldier, and I wanted to help other people,” Hobbs said.

His journey began in Louisville, Ky. where he was born in 1960. “I was born out of wedlock — biracial in the deep south.”

He was the only biracial person in a 5-mile radius. Hobbs never knew his father, and his mother was often in the hospital, leaving him to be raised by other family members. “Those experiences taught me how to reach out to people,” Hobbs said.

The Boy Scouts instilled community service in Hobbs. He completed his Eagle Scout award and joined the Army at age 17.

Hobbs, a retired chief warrant officer, served almost 30 years in the Army. He had four tours of duty in Europe and also served in several war zones, sustaining injuries.

“The military took me from an outhouse to the White House,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs is grateful to have served in positions that allowed him to help others and felt God was always on his side. Some of Hobbs’ roles include liaison officer, equal opportunity officer and ordnance proponent chief.

The Huntsville Police Department hired him in September 2010 as its communications relations officer. “I think they hired me on work ethic and integrity,” Hobbs said.

He taught military science at Columbia High School in Huntsville from 2007 to 2010.

Hobbs continues to work with children from across the area. “We know our time is limited in life,” Hobbs said. “I just want to make sure I affect positive change.”

Hobbs and his wife, Erica, have been married almost 32 years. “I couldn’t do anything without my wife,” Hobbs said.

They have two daughters and two grandchildren. Their oldest, Shara Rivera, 31, who served six years in the Army, resides at Fort Drum, N.Y., with her husband Staff Sgt. Javier Rivera, daughter Cree, 9, and son Julian, 9 months. Their youngest daughter, Shauna, 23, will graduate from the University of North Alabama in December as an Army nurse second lieutenant.

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