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


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.


Most Americans have never met a refugee, much less had a personal connection with one. But many veterans' lives are intertwined with those of refugees in profound and deeply personal ways. These are some of their stories.

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Tanika Roy: The Woman Behind #WhatIFoughtFor

Tanika Roy is a Los Angeles-based photographer and artist and a Marine Corps veteran. Her most recent work features veterans alongside refugees in a photo essay entitled #WhatIFoughtFor, created with Veterans for American Ideals, a project of Human Rights First. The project launched on Veterans Day, November 11th, 2017.




News and Views


  • News from the Week of December 11th
    Blog | December 15, 2017 |

    ICYMI: This week Human Rights First’s CEO Elisa Massimino wrote an op-ed for the The Hill to celebrate Human Rights Day. She wrote about the important role that Congress, the courts, and American citizens play in espousing American leadership on...

  • Time to Raise Our Hands High
    Blog | December 13, 2017 |

    Buck Cole (third from right) at an interfaith vigil for refugees.

    By Buck Cole

    In the spring of 1975 I was a 21-year-old airman stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Saigon was falling, and we were evacuating Vietnam. The...

  • News from the Week of December 4th
    Blog | December 8, 2017 |

    In a disheartening decision, the Supreme Court issued a ruling Monday that allowed the Trump Administration to temporarily implement its ban on Muslim immigrants. Yesterday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., heard arguments...