The Grunt Style Foundation leaders Tim Jensen and Will Wisner speak with Veteran Service Organization’s to discuss the historic passing of The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The team is joined by U.S. Army veteran Terrance Hays, Press Secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs. The vision of the VA is to provide veterans the world-class benefits and services they have earned — and to do so by adhering to the highest standards of compassion, commitment, excellence, professionalism, integrity, accountability, and stewardship. Visit https://www.va.gov/ to learn more.
About the Veteran
Terrence Hayes was appointed press secretary and official spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs January 20, 2021. In this role, Terrence is responsible for addressing all national, regional and local media inquiries and interview requests on behalf of the VA Secretary.
Prior to serving as VA press secretary, Terrence served as the national director of communications and public affairs for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. His duties included serving as spokesperson for the more than 1.4 million-member organization on issues ranging from national security and foreign affairs to the proper care and treatment of veterans, service members and their families.
Terrence, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, served in the U.S. Army from 1996 to 2016, deploying to Baghdad, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from December 2006 to March 2008. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3rd award), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3rd award), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (3rd award), Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2nd award), Army Good Conduct Medal (6th award), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal (one bronze star), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (3rd award), Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon (3rd award).
Prior to his position at the VFW, Terrence served as a public affairs officer and emergency response coordinator for the Department of Veterans Affairs, where he was responsible for answering all national, regional and local media queries on behalf of Secretaries David Shulkin and Robert Wilkie. Terrence concluded his military career at the Pentagon serving as public affairs adviser to the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from November 2011 to January 2016. In this role, he served as principal public affairs adviser and spokesperson for the defense department’s top-enlisted service member.
Terrence earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Maryland Global College in Adelphi, Maryland, and a master’s degree in both strategic communication and management (organizational leadership) from Troy University in Troy, Alabama.
Terrence is a member of the U.S. Army’s distinguished Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, the National Press Club and the National Association of Black Journalists. He and his wife, Chelsey, reside in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
About The Veteran Service Organization
VA Mission Statement
To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.
VA carries out four specific missions to make good on that commitment.
Veterans Health Care: VA’s Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated health care network in the United States, with 1,255 health care facilities serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.
Veterans Benefits: Veterans can earn a range of benefits that help them transition back to civilian life in the country they fought to defend. Through the Veterans Benefits Administration, VA helps servicemembers transition out of military service, and assists with education, home loans, life insurance and much more.
National Cemeteries: The job of the National Cemetery Administration is to make sure those who served this nation are never forgotten. NCA provides dignified burial services for Veterans and eligible family members by maintaining 142 cemeteries as national shrines and providing lasting tributes that commemorate their service and sacrifice to our nation.
The Fourth Mission: VA’s “Fourth Mission” is to improve the Nation’s preparedness for response to war, terrorism, national emergencies, and natural disasters by developing plans and taking actions to ensure continued service to veterans, as well as to support national, state, and local emergency management, public health, safety and homeland security efforts.