Thomas J. Lyons
Community Service Manager, MassHousing
Thomas (Tommy) J. Lyons has a longstanding commitment to service—to his country, his community and his fellow veterans.
Lyons is currently Community Services Manager at MassHousing, the state’s affordable housing bank. From 1995 to 2002, Lyons 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.
Lyons joined the United States Marine Corps shortly after graduating South Boston High School, and served from 1967 to 1970. During this time, many of his childhood friends and high school classmates lost their lives in combat.
In 1978, Lyons graduated from Boston State College and organized a committee of veterans to pay tribute to those in his community who died during the Vietnam War. On September 13, 1981, the committee erected the South Boston Vietnam Memorial, which was the first of its kind in the nation. In 1987, Lyons founded the Semper Fidelis Society of Boston, a Marine Corps organization that has grown to more than 2,300 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.
In 1988, Lyons graduated from the Senior Executive Fellows program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He was honored by the University of Massachusetts Boston with the Robert H. Quinn Award for Outstanding Community Leadership, and was 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.
Lyons served as the Chairman of Marine Week Boston in 2010 and Chairman of the Medal of Honor Society Convention in 2001 and 2006. He is a member of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, a member of the Governor’s Veterans Advisory Council and chairman of the Sub-Committee on Veterans Housing. He serves as Chairman of the 2015 Medal of Honor Society Convention and Chairman of the Massachusetts Veteran and War Memorial Commission. Lyons serves on the Board of Trustees for the Chelsea Soldiers Home and as a Board Member of the Brighton Marine Health Center. Lyons also started the annual Boston Marine Corps Honor Run, which this year is raising money for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
Lyons lives in Wakefield, Massachusetts with his wife Jean and two daughters, Sarah, a graduate of Assumption College and Maura, a graduate of Emerson College. His son, Todd, a Federal Agent in Immigration Customs Enforcement and Combat Veteran of the Iraq war, lives in Plano, Texas with his wife and two sons.