Lifetime of Achievement Recipients

HillVets is honored to announce a new category for the HillVets 1oo: Lifetime of Achievement.

We are highlighting those individuals who have made it their lives work to give back to the military and veteran community. These men and women have written their place into history with their tireless efforts to assist their country, and those who have fought two defend it. We are honored to count them as friends, mentors, and advocates who have paved the way for generations of veterans and supporters to come.

Senator Max Cleland

Max Cleland served as the Senator of Georgia from 1997 to 2003. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Mr. Cleland attained the rank Captain in the United States Army from 1965-1968, earning the Purple Heart during a tour of duty in Vietnam. Upon returning home he continued to serve his country in the Georgia State Senate from 1971 to 1975, consulting the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs in 1975, appointed administrator of the United States Veterans Administration by President Jimmy Carter in 1977, and Georgia’s Secretary of State from 1982 to 1996. Most recently, Senator Clelend acted as the Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission, which administers, operates, and maintains permanent U.S. military cemeteries, memorials and monuments both inside and outside the United States. 

 

Rick Weidman

Rick has been passionately fighting for veterans throughout the nation and on Capitol Hill for many generations; nearly 40 to be exact. In that time he has made it a point to mentor and work with young veterans pursuing their passions to give back to the military and veteran community.

Rick Weidman was born in Texas and enlisted to the Army in 1968.  Weidman served as a medic with Charlie Company, 23rd Medical Company, 196th Light Infantry Brigade in the American Division.  Currently, Rick Weidman is the Executive Director of Government Affairs with Vietnam Veterans of America, which was previously named the Council of Vietnam Veterans (VVA) – an organization that Weidman began volunteering for in 1978. He has been a vocal and visual presence on Capitol Hill ever since.

Senator Bob Dole

Robert “Bob” Joseph  Dole is an attorney, a member of the advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, and special counsel at Alston & Bird. A retired United States Senator from Kansas having served from 1969 to 1996.  Prior to being elected to the United States Senate, he represented Kansas in the United States House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969.  Throughout his political career in Congress, Mr. Dole served as United States Senate Majority Leader.  In 2007, President George W. Bush appointed him a co-chair of the commission to investigate the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Senator John Warner

John Warner was born in Washington, D.C., and enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II in 1945, becoming a Petty Officer 3rd Class.  In 1950, he joined the United States Marine Corps, where he eventually reached the rank of Captain.  He later served as a five-term Senator from Virginia from 1979 to 2009.  In addition to his service as a Senator, he served as Secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974. Mr. Warner has also been recognized for his commitment to veterans and public service, and was the first ever National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal recipient from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Senator Warner was one of the key veteran Senators that worked to make the Post 9/11 GI Bill a reality; along with then Senators Webb, Hagel, and Lautenberg.

Secretary John Kerry

Secretary John Kerry was born in Aurora, CO, who served as the 68th United States Secretary of State during President Obama’s Administration from 2013 to 2017 and Senator of Massachusetts from 1985 to 2013.  Kerry enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1966 to 1970, where he served in Vietnam with distinction and received the Purple Heart, Silver Star, and Bronze Star.

His experience in Vietnam led him to testify in a memorable moment before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the conflict. Inspired to do more he decided to run for Congress and run he did.

His first Congressional bid was in 1972, and ended in defeat, but he was not dissuaded. Ever the student and strategist, he regrouped, entered Boston College Law School graduating in 1976, and entered the world of public service as assistant District Attorney before going into private practice. And, in 1982, returned to politics as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts until his election to Senate in 1985.