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.

Ashlynne Haycock

Ashlynne Haycock, Manager, Education Support for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), is the surviving daughter of US Army SFC Jeffrey Haycock and Nichole Haycock. In 2017, Ashlynne was part of the “tiger team” instrumental in the creation and passage of the Forever GI Bill, including an expansion of Yellow Ribbon Benefits to the children and surviving spouses of Servicemembers who died in the line of duty while on active duty after September 10, 2001. In addition, she was appointed to the VA’s Veteran’s Advisory Committee on Education. Ashlynne has been involved with TAPS as a survivor for more than 15 years, and on staff for four years where she was instrumental in creating the TAPS Education Support Services program and online education portal. She is regularly invited to participate in forums focusing on veteran and survivor education benefits, and since 2013 has assisted more than 1,500 survivors in accessing education benefits worth more than $100 million.


Stephanie Brown, The Rosie Network

Stephanie Brown is a military spouse, Air Force brat, and has dedicated over 20 years to supporting and advocating on behalf of military families, veterans, and wounded warriors. She has been featured in Woman’s Day Magazine (August 2013), U.S. Veterans Magazine (Spring 2014), CBS News Radio, USMC Life, Army Wife Network, is a member of the Department of Defense Spouse Ambassador Network, and has been presented the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service by the Commanding General of Special Operations Command SOUTH. She founded The Rosie Network after spending hours searching Angie’s List & craigslist for a contractor to do repair work on their home. Stephanie set about creating a means for the American public to locate our nation’s military family-owned businesses. “We are the only non-profit search tool which features verified veteran and military spouse-owned businesses, provides them with a business profile page and doesn’t charge them a dime,” says Stephanie.


Lauren Tamm, The Military Wife and Mom

Lauren Tamm, who runs the The Military Wife and Mom, lives in Okinawa, Japan with her active duty Marine husband, along with their son and daughter. She is passionate about helping parents, teachers, care givers and military spouses discover simple tools that minimize stress, create peace and build connection. Through her blog, Facebook page, and Pinterest, she provides valuable insights and shared experiences on all the aspects of being a spouse of a servicemember, ranging from what to expect with deployments and parenting, to relocating and day to day life. Her advice and experiences are shared with more than one hundred thousand people via her blog and social media platforms.


Maureen Elias

Currently, Maureen, an Army Veteran herself, is the Assistant Director of The Veterans Health Council at Vietnam Veterans of America, but her commitment to veterans and military families knows no bounds. Selected as the 2017 Ft. Meade Spouse of the Year for her mental health advocacy work on Capitol Hill as a High Grounds Veterans Advocacy Fellow, she also completed a full-time Masters Degree, served as President of the Bowie State Student Veterans Association, Vice President of Internal Affairs for the Graduate Student Association, President of the National Counseling Examination/Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam, all while maintaining a household and caring for three children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. A close friend says of her award as Ft. Meade Spouse of the Year, “What makes Maureen an exceptional military spouse is her determination and her strong desire to advocate for what she believes. Everything Maureen does is for the benefit of others. She will use this honor to bring more awareness to her passion for veteran’s care.”


Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse, R.Riveter

In early 2011, Cameron Cruse and Lisa Bradley bonded over a shared frustration of employment struggles as Military Spouses. Armed with a big idea, one sewing machine and a little bit of canvas, Lisa and Cameron have created a movement that has grown into a bold, achievable mission shared by many: to inspire, engage and empower. A 2014 Kickstarter campaign brought R.Riveter to life, providing the support and funds we needed to make their dreams of the next step a reality. In 2015, they held the Grand Opening of R.Riveter’s brick & mortar storefront in Southern Pines, North Carolina. In 2016, Cameron and Lisa dove headfirst into the Shark Tank, sharing their mission to employ Military Spouses across the country with the show’s investors and walked away with a deal of partnership and investment from Mark Cuban. In 2017, they are have grown to employ 30 Local Employees and 27 Remote Riveters.