Andrew B. Dyson, Jr., a Milpitas resident with an accomplished military, professional, civic, and personal history, was honored earlier this month on Veterans Day (November 11), as the 2021 Veteran of the Year at a public ceremony held at Milpitas City Hall.
Dyson served in Vietnam, where from December 1969 to December 1970 he headed up maintaining P3 Patrol aircraft at Cam Ranh Bay. He was a recipient of the Vietnam Service Medal (two stars), the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Medal, which is bestowed upon military service members who achieve feats of heroism or valor while engaging with hostile forces.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Dyson received advanced schooling in the midst of his military service, earning the equivalent of a 4-year college degree in Electrical Engineering. Later, he graduated from the College of Notre Dame with a BS in Business Administration.
It was in November 1983, after his retirement from service with the rate of E-8, when Dyson got hired as a Quality Manager by Viking Labs. Three years later, in ‘86, he began work as a Quality Engineer for Lockheed Martin Special Programs. After a 22-year run characterized by a string of promotions and him receiving the Lockheed Technical Excellence Award, Dyson retired from his professional career, having held the position of Lead Software Quality Engineer for Special Programs at the time.
“Andy” has lived in Milpitas with his wife Sharon since 1976. He’s been an active member of the community, getting involved in the St. John Catholic Church, the St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, and the Milpitas Food Pantry, where he serves as Treasurer and has sat on the Board of Directors for the past 10 years, assisting local families, seniors, unhoused residents, and his fellow military veterans.
Also in ‘83, Dyson joined the Knights of Columbus St. John Council. The following year, ‘84, he helped to start up the Knights of Columbus at St. Elizabeth Church. He holds the distinction of being a 3rd and 4th Degree Knight and an Honorary Life Member. He’s also served there as the Grand Knight, the Comptroller 4th Degree (2 years), and the Council Financial Secretary (13 years), and he’s presently the Council Membership Director and Public Relations Director. In the meantime, Dyson’s been active in campaigns including Keep Christ in Christmas, and he shows up to deejay as the Knights DJ as part of running St. Elizabeth Knight Sounds. He’s also shown up as a DJ for events thrown by the Milpitas Chamber of Commerce, the Diocese of San Jose, and various military organizations.
In the midst of his membership with the Knights of Columbus, Dyson has organized fundraisers for people with intellectual disabilities, the proceeds of which go to the Milpitas Special Education Program, through which students are taught the principles of self-reliance in a Life Skills Lab.
For the past 18 years, Andy Dyson has published the St. Elizabeth Council 8747’s monthly bulletin. For nearly 30 years now, he’s been a singer in the 11 AM Choir and has served on the St. Elizabeth Parish Council. As a result of his noteworthy community leadership and volunteerism, Dyson has been asked by the new St. Elizabeth Pastor to rejoin the parish council in representation of the Knights of Columbus.
This year’s Milpitas Veterans Day Ceremony drew a strong turnout outside City Hall, where Mr. Dyson drew robust and deserved applause from his community leaders and fellow community members.