Capitol Hill Staff

These individuals are at the helm of forming the policy and legislation for our Nation. Working on Capitol Hill gives a great deal of responsibility and power needed to address many of the problems and challenges that veterans, and our Nation, face on a day-to-day basis. The influence that these few have in bringing legitimate change to the veteran community is unparalleled, and their ability to understand the issues and facilitate necessary debate and discussion is recognized and appreciated.

Edward Aulman,  Congressman Tom Suozzi

“Ed Aulman, a Vietnam veteran, was one of my first hires. I have known Ed since 2001 when he served as my Nassau County Veteran’s Service Administrator when I was County Executive from 2002 to 2009.

I asked Ed to come out of retirement and serve as my veterans’ caseworker. I could not think of anyone who could better serve the veterans of the Third Congressional District. His performance has been nothing but extraordinary. He brought an unparalleled level of passion, professionalism, and commitment to the job. In addition to helping individual veterans, Ed established and oversaw my Veterans Advisory Council and relentlessly encouraged me to sponsor legislation and pursue measures to improve the lives of veterans throughout my district.

As Nassau County Executive, I hired Ed to serve as the head of the Office of Veteran Affairs. During the eight years that he served in this capacity, Ed initiated the Nassau County Veterans Corps, worked closely with the Northport VA to improve services and access for veterans and forged valuable relationships with all veteran organizations in Nassau County. We started a Stand Down to provide homeless Vets with every possible service we could identify from mental health counseling, food, and housing to a haircut and a shave. Ed turned the department around using new technology and training for his team.

As a former officer in the US Marine Corps, who served in Viet Nam, Ed is involved in many veteran organizations including the local chapters of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Marine Corps League. Ed has served as President of the United Veterans Organization and the New York Chapter of the First Marine Division Association.

Ed is a committed advocate for veterans and I, therefore, recommend him for a HillVets 100 Award.”

– Congressman Tom Suozzi

Tyrone Bratton, Legislative Director for Congresswoman Elaine Luria

Tyrone Bratton started his Congressional career as a HillVets House Fellow in the office of Congressman Robert Brady of Pennsylvania. Upon completing his fellowship, Tyrone was hired as a full-time Military Legislative Assistant. At the start of the 116th Congress, Tyrone took the position of Legislative Director for Congresswoman Elaine Luria of Virginia. Tyrone is the first HillVets House Fellow to be hired as either Legislative Director or Chief of Staff in a Congressional office.

Tyrone served in the United States Air Force for 10 years as a Military Policeman. During his time in the Air Force, he earned degrees in both Criminal Justice and Religious Studies. Tyrone currently lives in Upper Marlboro, Maryland with his wife Vida Bratton and his two sons, Micah and Matthew.


Bob Henke, Majority Staff Director, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee

Bob Henke leads the Senate Veterans Affair Committee’s efforts to improve veterans care and provide critical oversight of the VA. In addition to his military service, Bob has a vast array of expertise in issue areas relating to veterans’ affairs. Henke previously served as the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer at the VA and as the Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense at the Department of Defense. Henke served as Commissioner on the bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan and has also held a number of private sector positions. Henke has served twice in combat zones as a U.S. Navy officer; on active duty, he served during Operation Desert Shield/Storm as a plank owner aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea, where he qualified as a surface warfare officer and on reserve duty, he mobilized to the Persian Gulf for Operation Enduring Freedom.

Colby Kuhns, Military Legislative Assistant for Representative Paul Cook

Lt. Colonel Colby Kuhns joined the USAF in 1991, spending two years as a computer programmer before being accepted into the Air Force Academy, where he graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Humanities. The Colonel earned his wings in 1998 and has flown over 200 hours of combat time over Iraq and Afghanistan.

Colonel Kuhns was the Director of Operations (DO) for the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron, responsible for training and employing the sole source of over 50 deployable U-2 pilots and ISR professionals to meet global high altitude ISR demand. Colby Kuhns now serves as the Military Legislative Assistant for Representative Paul Cook.

Cole Lyle, Military Legislative Assistant for Senator Richard Burr

Cole Lyle is a Marine Veteran, Veteran advocate, and Senate staffer for Senator Richard Burr. Cole is Senator Burr’s primary advisor on defense, veteran’s affairs, foreign policy, and homeland security.

Since starting his career in Washington, D.C., Cole has been a force in advocating for our nation’s Veterans. One of the many ways he has done so is his work on the P.A.W.S. (Puppies Assisting Wounded Service Members) Act. The legislation, H.R. 2327, was introduced to the 115th Congress by Congressman Ron DeSantis of Florida.

Jessica Killin, Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Donna Shalala

Jessica Killin is Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Donna Shalala of Florida. Before joining the office of Congresswoman Shalala, Jessica was Assistant Vice President of Federal Relations for USAA, a Legislative Aide for Senators Bill Nelson and Tom Carper, and a Captain in the U.S. Army.

Ray Kelley, Democratic Staff Director on the House Veterans Affairs Committee

Ray Kelley serves as the Democratic Staff Director on the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Kelley began his career of public service in the United States Marine Corps and continued to serve his fellow Veterans and Service Members as National Legislative Director for AMVETS and as Director of National Legislative Service for the VFW.

In February of 2017, Kelley was tapped by Ranking Member Tim Walz to be Minority Staff Director of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. In the 116th Congress, Kelley became Majority Staff Director of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Mark Dreiling, Chief of Staff for Representative Don Bacon

Mark Dreiling continues to be an outspoken advocate for veterans on Capitol Hill. As a staunch supporter of veterans working in policy positions, he has worked closely with his boss and Hillvets House Ambassador, Representative Don Bacon, to increase the number of veterans working on Capitol Hill. A native of Nebraska, and Air Force Veteran who rose to the rank of Captain, Mark walks the walk and continues to help any veteran he comes into contact with.