The American Veterans Ball takes great pride in announcing that the Press Secretary from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs Mr. Terrence Hayes will be a Special Guest Speaker at AVB2023. President Joseph R. Biden appointed Terrence Hayes as Press Secretary and official spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on January 20, 2021. In this role, Terrence is responsible for addressing all national, regional, and local media inquiries, interview requests, and external messaging on behalf of VA Secretary Denis McDonough.

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. During his military service, Terrence earned numerous awards and decorations, most notably the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, and three Meritorious Service Medals.

Terrence concluded his military career at the Pentagon serving as public affairs adviser and spokesperson for the top enlisted service member in the defense department from November 2011 to January 2016.

Terrence earned his bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Maryland Global College in Adelphi, Maryland, and his 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, Blacks in Government, and the National Association of Black Journalists.

Terrence’s son, Marcus, resides in Jacksonville and is a practicing physical therapist. His daughter, Nailah, is a freshman at Norfolk State University. He and his wife, Chelsey, reside in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, with their 18-month-old daughter, Chancellor.