Tyson Manker

Veterans Advocate

Tyson Manker joined Veterans Education Success in June 2017, bringing experience as an attorney, organizer, and veterans advocate.

Tyson enlisted in the Marine Corps infantry and served his career as an 81mm mortarman with the 7th Marine Regiment based in 29 Palms, CA. In 2003, his unit, the 3rd Battalion 7th Marines, helped lead the invasion of Iraq for which he received multiple awards including a Combat Action Ribbon, and Presidential Unit Citation from President George W. Bush.

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Upon leaving active duty, Tyson trained at the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute and briefly worked in the motorcycle industry before returning home to Illinois to attend college.

Tyson has advocated on a number of veterans' issues, including discharge upgrades for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) who are given less-than-honorable discharges.  He helped advocate for the Veterans Fairness Act, which requires military discharge review boards to review a service member's medical evidence if the service member suffered PTSD or TBI.  This bill passed Congress, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, in 2016.  He also advocated for Veterans Treatment Courts in Illinois. 

In 2015, Tyson was honored with an Illinois Courage Award for filing a citizens' ethics complaint against local officials in his hometown for wrongdoing, which led to multiple high level resignations. He continues to give public ethics presentations in cities throughout Illinois.

Tyson has been involved in several election campaigns, including playing a crucial role in organizing veterans and active duty service-members across the country to participate in the 2016 presidential election.  He also ran for Morgan County, IL, State's Attorney in 2016.  

Tyson received his B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois Springfield, and his J.D. from Western Michigan Cooley Law School. He is admitted to practice law with the state and federal bar in Illinois, where he also teaches law to college students.

Tyson was profiled in a New York Times story about veterans with PTSD who are denied VA services.