Tom Lyons, Director for Community Services Department at MassHousing Agency, is a member of the Secretary of the VA Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Chairman of the Massachusetts Veteran and War Memorial Commission and a member of the Governor’s Veterans Advisory Council and Chairmen of the Sub –Committee on Veterans Housing. Tom is the recipient of the 2011 “Marine For Life” Award presented by General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps for his 30 years of advocacy on behalf of our nations Veterans.
Tom was born on in Boston and has lived most of his life in South Boston. He graduated from South Boston High School in 1967 and shortly thereafter, joined the US Marine Corps with 5 neighborhood friends. Three were killed in combat in 1968.
Tom served in the Marine Corps from 1967 through 1970 and is a combat Veteran with a tour of duty 1968 – 1969 in Vietnam.
In 1978, Tom organized a committee of Vietnam Veterans to pay tribute to the 25 sons of South Boston who died during the Vietnam War. In paying tribute to their own, Southie set an example for the rest of the nation to follow. The South Boston Vietnam Memorial, dedicated September 13, 1981, was one of the first of its kind in the nation.
In 1987, Tom founded the Semper Fidelis Society of Boston, a Marine Corps organization that has grown from 28 members to over 2300. The Society sponsors a luncheon on the Marine Corps Birthday and funds raised are donated to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. To date the luncheon and the Boston, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Golf Tournament has raised over $600,000 for the sons and daughters of Marines.
Tom was the Commissioner for Veterans’ Services in the City of Boston from 1984 through 1995. From 1995 through 2002, Tom demonstrated his lasting commitment to veterans through his work as the Executive Director at the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans.
Education: Boston State College 1978
Harvard, JFK School of Government SEF Program 1988
Tom lives in Wakefield, Massachusetts with his wife Jean and two daughters Sarah, a graduate of Assumption College and Maura, a graduate of Emerson College and his son Todd is married with two sons living in Plano, Texas. Todd is currently a Federal Agent in ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) and is a Combat Veteran of the Iraq war.