Henry Ballard found God, then he found the military


By Harmony Bienemy

Bishop Henry Ballard, retired U.S. Air Force master staff sergeant
Bishop Henry Ballard, retired U.S. Air Force master staff sergeant

Bishop Henry Ballard is both a man of the cloth and a retired U.S. Air Force master staff sergeant.

He dropped out of Louisiana State University at age 19 to attend Louisiana Bible College. After earning a bachelor's degree in biblical and theological studies, he dedicated his life to communicating the Word of God. Around the same time, he enlisted in the military, serving in the Louisiana Air National Guard for 20 years.
Ballard, 53, says he still uses the lessons learned from his experience while serving in the military.

He encourages those who are thinking about joining the military to join. He looks back on the impact that his time in service had and still has on his life. When in search of who you are or what you are put here to do, the military "is a perfect place to discover yourself," he says.

"The military gave me a sense of purpose," Ballard says, adding he has had multiple experiences that have helped to shape the person he is today.

To wit, he says, he continues to live by the Air Force Core Values, "Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do." Not only does he still use and live by these values and lessons learned, it also seemed to be instilled in his household as well.

With not one, but two of his children currently serving, Ballard gets to witness the evolution in the military from when he served to now. Despite changes made over time, the armed force is still honoring tradition and instilling those same values from when he served, according to Ballard.

He advises anyone considering joining the military to get a better understanding of what they are getting into before just enlisting.

" ... Doing nothing or remaining indecisive about your life is not an option," he says.