Major Lewis Lockett Jr., who served 10 years in the United States Army, is an active member of the Houston veteran community, giving back to the city he has called home since 2009.
After participating in ROTC in high school and at the University of North Georgia, Lockett served in the U.S. Army from 1983-93, holding ranks of Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant and Captain. In 2004, he was promoted to Major as a member of the Army Reserves in post-active duty.
“Everyone matters,” Lockett said of his main takeaway from his time serving. “In the military, you get a sense of different cultures, races, creeds and origins. None of that stuff mattered because we were all in uniform, and you were all aligned with the mission of the U.S. military service.”
Lockett’s tours included Fort McClellan in Alabama and the Pittsburgh Military Processing Station in Pennsylvania, followed by a stint overseas in South Korea where he served as the company commander for a transportation brigade, headquarters detachment, for the military traffic management command. Lockett closed out his active duty at Fort McPherson in Alabama, which was the home of the forces command at the time.
“The one-year unaccompanied tour in Korea was a command tour for me,” Lockett said of his favorite times in the service. “I got a chance to travel throughout Asia, including Okinawa and Yokohama in Japan and Subic Bay in the Philippines.”
Lockett said the service mindset has always been rampant in his family, as his father, Lewis Lockett Sr., served one tour with the U.S. Army in Berlin in the 1950s. Uncles on both sides of the family have also served in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Lockett said family is the most important aspect of his life, and his daughter Yasmine and son Michah, a member of the U.S. Army Reserves, give him his why in life.
The Georgia native now makes his home in Katy, Texas, but when Lockett fell on tough times, he said Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) helped him avoid eviction and connected him with an employment opportunity at Lifetime Fitness where he has worked for 12 years, currently serving as the facility operations senior leader at the Greenway Plaza and Galleria locations.
Lockett, who is connected to the local veteran circuit, says he wants to give back to the community and volunteers with organizations like the World Youth Organization, a non-profit that delivers free, out-of-school programming and access to community-wide events for underserved and underrepresented minority youth.
“I love helping people get to the next level in their lives and being a part of their success,” Lockett said. “I guess that comes from a life coach perspective and all of the experiences and knowledge that I’ve acquired over the years.”
Lockett said he became a Houston Dynamo fan thanks to several enthusiastic coworkers at Lifetime Fitness. He has always had a natural affinity for soccer, reminiscing on playing the sport in college wearing combat boots, however, the army veteran said he has never attended a professional match in-person.
“I’m looking forward to my first time being in [Shell Energy Stadium] for sure,” Lockett said. “It will be my first time being at a live soccer match, so I’ll be making my own history just on that alone.”
The Houston Dynamo are proud to honor Lockett as the Hero of the Match during Saturday’s matchup against the LA Galaxy, where his decade of active-duty service will be recognized.