Army Capt. Lynette Jones took a break from preparing for her third tour of duty to receive the 51st District Veteran of the Year award Thursday, June 28, in Sacramento. Jones says her job -- which includes army captain, local volunteer and radio talkshow host -- is to help others. Lolita Lopez reports from Gardena for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 28, 2012.
Ahead of her third tour of duty, a decorated Southern California veteran who colleagues called “the way of the future” was named the 51st District’s Veteran of the Year Thursday in Sacramento.
The latest recognition of Capt. Lynette Jones’ military services comes on top of previous awards bestowed on her, including the Meritorious Service Award and the Army Commendation Medal.
“I'm committed and I'm dedicated to what I'm doing. And I feel the army reserves has been really good to me,” Jones, 39, said.
The Columbia University graduate owns and operates the Gardena-based internet radio station New Day Talk Radio, where she carries the moniker “the captain.”
“I call it therapy radio; you can actually help people out and get into these issues,” she said. “I have shows where I deal with money tell people how to spend their money, save their money and put their money in the right places.”
Guests on Jones’ show say she’s made a difference in the lives of her listeners.
“We had a jobs fair and she hired several people from the jobs fair, several from the military,” said Edwin Duterte.
Without the mics, the LA native is member of the Gardena Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association and serves in the Inglewood Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Jones was first recruited to join the military by her twin sister and initially served in the Navy. During her decades-long military career, Jones has been deployed twice and it getting ready for a third tour.
“It was tough. Some people say, ‘Were you on the front lines?’ You didn’t have to be on the front lines to be in danger,” she said.
Jones’ latest deployment will take her to Afghanistan, where she will serve as a human resources coordinator, strategically placing people and equipment in places where they are needed.
“It's our job to take care of people... that’s the most important thing,” she said.
Assemblyman Steven Bradford introduced Jones on the floor of the Assembly as the top veteran in his district, which includes Gardena, Hawthorne, Lawndale, and Inglewood, and the communities of Athens, Lennox, South Central LA, Westchester, Willowbrook, Playa Vista, and parts of Ladera Heights and West Compton.
Jones said her goal is to become a one-star general, living a life in which she can always give back.
“It's just all about helping people because everybody needs somebody,” she said. “Nobody can go through this life by themselves.”