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.

Tina Saari, Travis Manion Foundation

Tina Saari is the Senior Director, National Engagement of Travis Manion Foundation. Tina holds a BS from Texas A&M University and has been a military spouse for over 10 years, married to an Army aviator. She has been working with Veterans and families of the fallen for over 12 years. With Travis Manion Foundation, Tina manages several programs in which she has the opportunity to work closely with our youth and the military community. Tina inspires individuals to leverage their strengths and passions as they serve in their community. Prior to TMF, Tina worked with the National Military Family Bereavement Study as an Outreach and Education Specialist and Field Researcher. She was also a Director for the Tragedy Assistance Program and was in charge of setting up regional survivor seminars and good grief camps across the country as well as the summer campouts for grieving military children.


Melissa Comeau, American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network

On top of being the full-time caregiver to her combat-injured Marine, Melissa was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee for Veterans, Family, Caregivers, and Survivors at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. She is a recognized advocate for the military and veteran community and continues her work to support caregivers in her role as the Director of the American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network. She serves as the Chair of PsychArmor’s Caregiver Advisory Committee and as an Advisory Board Member of the Military Family Advisory Network. In 2018, she continued her service to Blue Star Families, Blue Star Cares initiative and was a speaker at events for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and America’s Warrior Partnership. She is a proud member of the American Legion Auxiliary and was awarded the Patriot Scholarship to Colorado Technical University to work towards a Master’s Degree in IT Project Management.


Sue Hoppin, The National Military Spouse Network

Sue’s mission is to reach all active-duty and retired military spouses and to more fully acquaint civilian employers with the impressive credentials and work-commitment of this mighty yet underutilized workforce. Through the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), she developed the first Military Spouse Career Summit in 2011 and has held the event annually in Washington since then. The Summits have featured the founders of Craigslist and Georgetown Cupcake as keynote speakers and recently expanded to include “Business Bootcamps”; pairing aspiring military spouse entrepreneurs with training and opportunities to find mentors in local business owners. Under Sue’s leadership, NMSN held 2 Summits in 2018 to bring professional career guidance and networking opportunities to military spouses in Colorado Springs and Washington.

In 2018, Sue did the following as well, further establishing her role as an advocate, mentor, and thought leader within the military spouse space:
– Served on the United States Air Force Academy’s Board of Visitors.
– Worked with clients to help them employ and retain military spouses through her consulting business.
– Employed military spouses.
– Provided remarks at a caucus on veteran entrepreneurship put on by Representative McEachin.
– Judged the Military Spouse of the Year competition.
– Made regular media appearances on local news programs like Good Morning Washington.


Amanda Crowe, Hiring our Heroes Military Spouse Program

Amanda Crowe is the Director of the Hiring our Heroes Military Spouse Professional Network; helping support career-minded military spouses. She served as a Navy Reservist for 8 years and has seen more than 10 deployments in her time as a military spouse. Amanda devotes much of her professional and personal energy to supporting her military community of spouses and families. She currently divides her time and focus between the program’s 45 global locations, oversees hundreds of volunteers, and being wife to her active duty Navy husband and mom to their children.

She uses her platform to advocate for the employment needs of military spouses as well as helps educate employers on the benefits military spouse professionals offer as employees.


Leigh Searl, America’s Career Force

Leigh Searl, JD is the Founder and President of America’s Career Force. She has been a military spouse for 15+ years and has moved 11 times, but through it all Leigh has continued to retain a professional focus wherever the Army stationed her and her family. As a military spouse, she was continuously searching for meaningful employment with each move and that’s how ACF was developed. America’s Career Force’s primary purpose is to introduce businesses to highly skilled and dedicated individuals to realize maximum potential.

In addition, Leigh Searl is also a founder of VNOTES, an organization that helps provide a framework to understand how Veterans fit into professional organizations.