Tom Lyons, a native of South Boston was recently honored for 50 years of public service beginning as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam and culminating with his retirement from MassHousing as the Agency’s Vice President of External Affairs. Among those speaking to Lyons’ lifetime of commitment to serving veterans and creating housing opportunities for the residents of Massachusetts were Governor Charlie Baker, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, former Ambassador to the Vatican and Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn, and Medal of Honor Recipient Thomas Kelley.
Lyons retired from MassHousing after 16 years at the Agency. Prior to his becoming Vice President of External Affairs, Lyons served as Director of Community Services and as Acting Executive Director in late 2017 and early 2018.
Lyons is a founding member of the committee that created the South Boston Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the founder and president of the Boston Semper Fidelis Society, which every November hosts the nation’s largest annual Marine Corps Birthday luncheon from which proceeds benefit veterans and their families through various programs and scholarships.
In April of 2018, Lyons was honored by the U.S. Marine Corps for his combat service in Vietnam and for his extensive efforts in support of veterans by being the guest of honor and Parade Reviewing Officer for a recruit gradation parade at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina. For Lyons, the event was his first visit to Parris Island since he graduated from Marine Corps training in 1967.
In 2014, he was honored by the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation for his many years of work on behalf of veterans and their families. The Tommy Lyons Scholarship was created in his name for the child of a Marine Corps or Navy Corpsmen veteran. Prior to joining MassHousing, Lyons spent seven years as Executive Director of the New England Center for Veterans and before that he spent 10 years as Boston’s Deputy Commissioner for Veterans. Lyons was chairman of the committees for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s annual conventions in Boston in 2001, 2006 and 2015. He has also served on many state and national boards and committees related to veterans.