There will be a Houston Military Afffairs Committee (HMAC) luncheon on Thursday, January 11, 2024.
Date: Thursday, January 11, 2024
Time: Check in at 11:00 a.m.
Location: Houston Marriott Westchase Hotel.
We will have an HMAC Ball Meeting right after our luncheon.
Say a prayer for all of our men and woman serving in the military.
God Bless the USA,
Betty R. Manbeck
Luncheon Coordinator and
GUESS SPEAKER for January 11, 2024, will be Dr. Lashondra Jones.
Dr. LaShondra Jones was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and at the age of 17, decided to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. She attended communication school at the Marine Corps Air, Ground and Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California. She later received orders to Camp Pendleton serving in the 9th Communications Battalion as a Radio Operator. After being honorably discharged in 1998, Dr. Jones began pursuing her academic studies. She completed both her bachelor’s and master’s degree at the University of Memphis and later relocated to Houston, Texas to purse her degree in doctoral studies. She enrolled in the Barbara Jordan/Mickey Leland School of Public Policy at Texas Southern University. Because of her passion for veterans, she focused her doctoral dissertation on the criminal justice involvement of veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom & Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF). She successfully matriculated and received her Doctor of Philosophy Degree in 2016.
Dr. Jones served as a Policy Associate during the 84th Texas Legislative Session and continues to be actively involved in legislative policy that directly impacts veterans. One of her proudest moments in her advocacy work, was House Bill 867 which created the Texas Women Veterans Program. In addition, she also advocated and testified for Senate Bill 805 which created Texas Women Veterans Day. She served on the board for Texas Veteran Commission (TVC) Funds for Veteran Assistance, which funds millions of dollars to non-profit veteran organizations across the state of Texas. During her tenure, she was elected as the first African-American as well as the first female Vice-Chairman of the board. Because of her research and advocacy on veteran issues, she has been invited to speak at symposiums and numerous academic panels across the nation.
As a result of her passion for community involvement, each year through her Veterans Vote campaign, she ensures that veterans are registered to vote, are educated on changes in voting regulations and provides transportation for veterans to and from the polls. She has also participated in numerous protests and marches in the demand for social justice and equality. In addition, on June12, 2020, she and other women veterans participated in the first protest at Fort Hood, demanding military officials help to locate Houston-native, missing Army soldier, Vanessa Guillen.
She currently works for the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Veteran & Military Affairs, helping to ensure that veterans, active-duty personnel, reservists, and military family members are connected to community resources as well as other benefits and services. She is also responsible for creating and maintaining meaningful relationships with community stakeholders, thereby helping the second largest population of veterans in the country, thrive and succeed. She is a member of Montford Point Marine Association, American Legion Post #316 and the Women Marine Association.