We raised our right hands and pledged to support and defend the Constitution. That commitment does not stop.

About

Veterans for American Ideals is a nonpartisan group of veterans who share the belief that America is strongest when its policies and actions match its ideals.

We dedicated our lives to our country as citizen-soldiers, and we believe that honor, courage, commitment, duty, and country are not just words, but values worth defending. After taking off the uniform, we seek to continue serving our country by advocating for policies that are consistent with the ideals that motivated us to serve in the first place. Our current campaigns are focused on saving the Special Immigrant Visa program for interpreters and translators who served with the U.S. military, protecting refugees, and countering Islamophobia.

Join Veterans for American Ideals

By Joining You Will:

  • Get all the latest news and hear first about opportunities to take action.
  • Have opportunities to engage through letters to our political leaders, opinion pieces, and public appearances.
  • Play an important role in encouraging America to live up to its ideals.
VFAI Members Convene in Washington, DC to push for the renewal of the SIV Program.

We'll never share your information with anyone

Confirm Your Service

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Veterans for American Ideals will never share any information with anyone without your explicit permission. As veterans ourselves, we assure you that your military records will be processed with the utmost sensitivity.

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In order to approve your membership, we require proof of your service. Please send one of the following documents. If you have any questions, please send them to vfai@humanrightsfirst.org.

  • Medal, Award, or certificate of recognition from your service
  • Officer Records Briefs or Enlisted Records Briefs
  • Paperwork from the Veterans Administration or Department of Defense indicating that you served
  • A copy of your DD214 that shows your discharge status (your social security number can be blacked out if you prefer)
  • Mobilization, deployment, or NATO orders

Welcome

Congratulations! You are now part of a veterans movement that will make a difference in encouraing and helping America to live up to its ideals.

Here are a few things you can do to support our work right now:

Understand

Check out our website and educate yourself about the issues we are taking on.

Engage

Tell us what ideas you have, what issues you care about, and how you think we should be approaching our work.

Share

Share with your friends and fellow veterans and encourage them to join us.

Sign the Letter to Tell Congress to Extend the Afghan SIV Program

Add Your Voice

Dear Members of Congress,

We write as concerned veterans. In all wars, American service members fight alongside foreign allies, live within local communities, and build security partnerships. We could not complete our mission without the translators, engineers, security guards, embassy clerks, logisticians, cultural advisors, and soldiers who have stood by us.

As representatives of the U.S. government, we gave our word to protect these allies should they come under threat. Since 2006 this promise to those Iraqis and Afghans has been fulfilled by the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program.

We are heartened that that the Afghan SIV program was renewed under the current National Defense Authorization Act. The program’s continuance means that thousands of Afghans who bravely served alongside our troops will now find safety and an opportunity for a new life in the United States.

However, the 1500 new visas that have been authorized in addition to the remaining visas from previous years are insufficient. Between 11,000 and 15,000 applicants are still in the pipeline to be adjudicated. Without more visas, we are likely to leave several thousand of our allies with one choice: flee or die.

What kind of message does that send to the Afghans currently serving alongside the nearly 10,000 Americans deployed to Afghanistan? We fear that it conveys that America has abandoned them, and in kind, they are now free to abandon our forward deployed troops. What incentive would any Afghan or other ally in future conflicts have to cooperate with and serve alongside the U.S. military?

We urge you to add additional visas as you consider appropriations in the coming months. At the current rate of approvals, we will run out of visas in only a few months.

Many veterans can point to a moment when one of our foreign allies saved our lives – often by taking up arms against our common enemies. They acted because they believed in America, in our mission, and in the promise that was given. We urge Congress to set aside political differences and do what is right and strategically smart – keep our promise to our wartime allies.

Very respectfully,

Leader Spotlight: Arti Walker-Peddakotla

"I have so much hope for our future when I look at our young people and see the multiracial society they are growing up in today. That’s the America I fell in love with when I was in the military, and that diversity is one of the things that makes our military, and our country, the most powerful in the world." Read more from Arti Walker-Peddakotla, a U.S. Army veteran and the daughter of immigrants from India.

Read More...

Resources

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News and Views

 

  • Leader Spotlight: Colin Raunig
    Blog | April 18, 2017 |

    Veterans for American Ideals is recognizing veteran leaders who are continuing their service by building unity and standing up for American values. Through a series of interviews, we’re asking VFAI leaders to share more about how their...

  • News from the week of April 10
    | April 14, 2017 |

    Here’s another round-up of what we’ve been reading and watching, from the news and around the web.

    President Trump’s revised travel ban is still facing challenges this week after local American Civil Liberties Union chapters filed lawsuits...

  • News from the Week of April 3rd:

    Here’s another round-up of what we’ve been reading and watching, from the news and around the web.

    This week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Trump Administration’s request for expedited...