The following bio is that of an event speaker or guest author. This person is not directly affiliated with the John Locke Foundation.

John Byrnes is the Director of Education for Concerned Veterans for America (CVA).  He is a combat Veteran, who began his military career with the United States Marines, in  In 1992 and ’93 he was deployed to Somalia in support of Operation Restore hope.

He returned to the military in 2000, enlisting in the New York Army National Guard as an Infantryman one year before the September 11 2001 attacks.  John responded immediately to the September 11th attacks and spent several weeks at ground zero along with his unit, which provided security and logistic support.  John conducted multiple homeland security missions in New York in the decade after the attacks, securing transportation assets.  John was the Operations Sergeant for TF Kennedy in 2006 during a critical surge.

He has deployed twice more overseas.  First to Iraq in 2004 with NY’s 2/108 In., attached to the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, where his company began the crucial investigation into the Dujail massacres, the crime which ultimately led to Saddam Hussein’s guilty verdict execution.  He was deployed in 2008 to Afghanistan on a police mentoring team as part of the 27th Infantry BCT’s Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix VII.  He retired from military service in 2018.

As a Civilian John has been an op-ed columnist at the NY Post.  He served as director of the Defend Mario Lozano fund, to ensure an innocent soldier was not convicted in absentia in Italy.  He is a graduate of The City University of New York’s Hunter College.  John was a prime mover in the successful effort to bring CUNY’s Veteran support services into line with the reality of 21st century military service.  He authored CUNY’s Veteran webpage and served as the first Veterans Coordinator at the university’s City-Tech College.


John has been with CVA since it began operations in 2012.  He has served as a local Field Director, Coalitions Director, State Director before heading up our national education efforts


He is a graduate of Chaminade HS on Long Island, and a Thomas Hunter Honors Graduate of Hunter College in Manhattan. John currently resides in the Wilmington NC area, with his beautiful wife Carrie.