Thomas (Tommy) J. Lyons has a longstanding commitment to service—to his country, his community and his fellow veterans.
Tommy retired last November after16 years of service at MassHousing Finance Agency as the Vice President of Government Affairs & Communications. MassHousing is the state’s Affordable Housing Bank. From 1995 to 2002, he was the Executive Director of the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans. He served as Commissioner for Veterans’ Services for the City of Boston from 1984 to 1995.
Born in South Boston, Tommy graduated from South Boston High in 1967 and served in the United States Marine Corps from 1967-1969 and is a combat Veteran with a tour of duty 1968-1969 in Vietnam.
In 1978, Tommy organized a committee of Vietnam Veterans to pay tribute to the 25 young men from his community who died during the Vietnam War. On September 13, 1981, the committee erected the South Boston Vietnam Memorial, which was one of the first of its kind in the nation. In 1987, he founded the Semper Fidelis Society of Boston, a Marine Corps organization that has grown to more than 2,500 members. The Society sponsors an annual luncheon on the Marine Corps’ Birthday and donates the proceeds to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and local veterans’ charities.
He also started the annual Boston Marine Corps Honor Run, which raises money for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. He was Chairman of Marine Week Boston in 2010 and Chairman of the 2001, 2006 and 2015 Medal of Honor Convention.
Tommy graduated from Boston State 1978 and the Senior Executive Fellows Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government 1988. He was honored by the University of Massachusetts Boston with the Robert H. Quinn Award for Outstanding Community Leadership, the recipient of the 2011 “Marine for Life” Award, presented in 2012 for his 30 years of advocacy on behalf of our nation’s veterans, the 2014 recipient of the Commandant’s Award from the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and 2019 received the John W. McCormick Distinguished Public Service Award.
Tommy serves on a number of boards and committees: he is a member of the Governor’s Veterans Advisory Council and chairman of the Sub-Committee on Veterans’ Housing, Chairman of the 2001, 2006 and 2015 Medal of Honor Society Convention and Chairman of the Massachusetts Veteran and War Memorial Commission. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Chelsea Soldiers Home, a Board Member of the Brighton Marine Health Center and a member on the Long-Term Care Commission for Veterans
Tommy lives in Wakefield, Massachusetts with his wife Jean. They have two daughters Sarah, Maura and his son, Todd, a Federal Agent in Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) who is a Veteran of the Iraq War.