Military Spouses and Survivors

Military spouses play a critical role in the defense of our Nation. With the all-volunteer force and operational tempos never reached in history, more and more has been asked from our military spouses. HillVets believes it important to highlight their continued and vital commitment to service members, our Nation, and our national security. We also would be remiss to not highlight the continued service of those men and women who lost their loved one in service to our Nation. Many of these men and women have channelled their loss as an impetus to help others and we salute them.

Elizabeth “Liz” Davis

Elizabeth Davis is a survivor advocate who champions policy changes to benefit the families of our nation’s fallen heroes. In the 114th Congress she worked in conjunction with survivors from the Travis Manion Foundation to introduce The Love Lives On Act, which would eliminate the penalty that cuts off benefits for widowed spouses who remarry before age 62. She also actively educates representatives on current problems faced by military widows, and has independently garnered victories in the Commonwealth of Virginia for Gold Star families.

Elizabeth believes that when the ultimate sacrifice is paid to ensure our freedoms, this country should match that dedication to sacrifice in caring for the families left behind. Elizabeth is studying Public Administration at UNC. After her projected program completion in 2018 she will apply her degree to further serve and protect the legacies of her husband and all of America’s warriors.

Jane Horton

Jane Horton serves as the Military and Congressional Liaison for the Embassy of Afghanistan where she works to connect the embassy with Congress, the Pentagon, and the military community at large fostering positive relationships, showing Afghanistan’s appreciation for the efforts there, and highlighting the country’s progress in the last 15 years especially in their efforts to eradicate terrorism. A Gold Star wife herself, Jane’s dedication to veterans and their families doesn’t end with her professional duties, as she dedicates countless hours to Gold and Blue Star families and the Travis Manion Foundations.

Ryan Manion

Ryan has served as the President of Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) since 2012, leading a national movement to empower veterans and families of fallen heroes to develop character in future generations. She is inspired by her brother, First Lieutenant Travis Manion of the United States Marine Corps, who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq in 2007 while drawing fire away from his wounded comrades.

Ryan has led Travis Manion Foundation in inspiring over 150,000 young adults to live with character and serve their community, in addition to supporting over 60,000 veterans and survivors through other TMF initiatives. Ryan also serves as a board member for National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations (NAVSO).

Megan Smith

Megan Smith is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, devoted mother & spouse of Active Duty Soldier and MMA Star Colton Smith. Megan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Enlisted Nine Fight Company, one of the fastest growing Veteran owned clothing lines in America today. Due in part from her perseverance and commitment to give the best product possible to veterans, active duty service-members, and patriotic citizens; In 2016 the company surpassed one million dollars in sales while her husband was deployed to Afghanistan. Megan also  manages private donations to several veteran charities and adopts several families during holidays.

Brooke Goldberg

Brooke Goldberg is the Director for Military Family Policy and Spouse Programs at the Military Officers Association of America. She has been working as an advocate in the military community for 15 years, as a Key Spouse, a board member of a non-profit, an educator, and in recent years at the leading military service organizations. Brooke builds coalitions among military family advocates on issues from spouse employment to financial literacy. She combines her passion and analytical background to fight for sustainment of critical support programs for families who have have endured the longest war in US history. Brooke’s work among top veteran lobbyists at MOAA has protected adverse cuts on military compensation and programs, and helped define opportunities for improved support for military families and their success in the unique challenges of military service. Brooke is recognized as one of the top resources in the advocacy community on nearly every subject relevant to military families today, including the unique needs of special operations and reserve component communities.

Twitter: @MOAABrooke