Lifetime of Achievement

HillVets is honored to highlight those individuals who have made it their life’s 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 to 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 Johnny Isakson

A legend in his own time, Senator Isakson has been a leader in driving Veteran policies during a period of unprecedented expansion of benefits for US Veterans and the healthcare they receive. He put down his Chairman gavels at the end of 2019, but leaves behind a legacy that will benefit Americans and American Veterans well into the future. Among his many accomplishments, he was instrumental in passing the MISSION Act in 2018, which modernized healthcare delivery for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has also been a leader on a wide range of other laws that have modernized every aspect of the VA. Sen. Isakson announced his retirement at the end of 2019. One of the oldest serving military Veterans on Capitol Hill, the Senator has been on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee since 2005 and has been the Committee Chairman since the 114th Congress. He will be remembered as a true Georgia son, who never forgot where he came from and what he came to Washington to accomplish.


Principal Chief James Floyd, Muscogee (Creek) Nation

James Floyd is the recently retired Principal Chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.  The MCN is the fourth largest tribe in the United States, covering eleven counties in eastern Oklahoma with over 86,500 members worldwide. Chief Floyd’s 38-year public service career includes 28 years at the Indian Health Service and Veterans Affairs, with 23 spent in the Senior Executive Service. He served as Director of the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Service, the Veterans Affairs Heartland Network in Kansas City, the VA of Salt Lake City Health Care System, and the VA Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In 2004, he was recognized with the Under Secretary for Health’s Diversity Award for his work in establishing innovative outreach and treatment programs for Native American Veterans, incorporating traditional healing practices, and establishing tele-health services in rural and Native American communities. Chief Floyd has worked relentlessly throughout his career to ensure that Native Veterans have access to quality healthcare and dedicated his time to ensuring the veterans within his community and on the national level have a Veterans Affairs that meets and exceeds their needs.

Chief Floyd has a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration from Northeastern State University, and a Master of Public Administration from Portland State University. He completed post-graduate training at the University of North Carolina and at the Brookings Institute.

Dr. Phil Roe, U.S. House of Representatives

Dr. Roe has played a critical role on the House Veterans Affairs Committee for nearly 12 years. He has served as both the Chairman of the Committee and most recently as the Ranking Member. His insights as a veteran and as a doctor have proved critical in proposing and passing legislation that would positively affect the veteran community. His character as Chairman also focused on doing his best to maintain a bi-partisan spirit on the committee. Hailing from the First Congressional District of Tennessee, he is a resident of Washington County serving his sixth and final term in Congress. A native of Tennessee, upon his graduation from the University of Tennessee, he served two years in the United States Army Medical Corps.


Dr. Mike Haynie, Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University

Dr. Mike Haynie serves as the Vice Chancellor of Syracuse University’s Strategic Initiatives and Innovation, and also the Barnes Professor of Entrepreneurship.

As Vice Chancellor, Dr. Haynie leads a broad portfolio of responsibility centers and innovation initiatives, including the University’s robust portfolio of entrepreneurship and innovation programs,  as well as defense- and veteran-connected programs and initiatives across the Institution.

In 2013, Dr. Haynie was appointed by the Obama Administration to serve as the Chairman of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Federal Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment and Training. In 2015, the White House asked Haynie to serve again, this time as the vice chairman of a newly created Presidential Task Force, chartered to set the course for long-term reform at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. 

In 2011, Haynie founded Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans & Military Families (IVMF), the nation’s first interdisciplinary institute created to inform and advance the policy, economic, and wellness concerns of the America’s veterans and families. Today IVMF programs serve over 25,000 veterans annually, and the Institute is widely acknowledged as the nation’s leading academic voice related to issues impacting veterans and military-connected families.