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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Leader Spotlight: Maggie Seymour

My time in the Marine Corps showed me that service comes in many forms. As a veteran I often hear “thank you for your service,” meaning my service to my country. As I look back, however, I think my service was more to my fellow Marines. Where I really made an impact, and where I felt I was the most useful, was when I was helping, teaching, and mentoring other Marines—and that’s something I can do out of uniform. Service isn’t just about wearing cammies or deploying overseas, service is about helping the people around you.



Human Rights First
Letter | September 19, 2018
September 19, 2018   Dear Members of Congress, We represent more than two hundred thousand veterans from every branch of the United States military and every American conflict since Vietnam.
Human Rights First
Factsheet | September 19, 2018
U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis and the Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program
Human Rights First
Factsheet | September 19, 2018
The Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program 2009-2018  What is the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program?  Download
Human Rights First
Factsheet | October 13, 2017
Bipartisan Support for the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program
Human Rights First
Factsheet | July 18, 2017
Download PDF
Human Rights First
Report | May 31, 2017
Brothers and Sisters in Arms As veterans, we served with and often depended on interpreters, translators, and other local allies to carry out missions in Afghanistan. Many of these individuals’ lives are now in danger as a result of their service. 


News and Views


  • News from the week of September 30th
    Blog | October 6, 2018 |


    This Friday, Former Ambassador Ryan Crocker wrote in Newsweek of his disappointment in the 2019 refugee cap. “As an ambassador to six countries under both Republican and Democratic presidents, I saw...

  • Travis and Maytham: #WelcometoColorado
    Blog | October 2, 2018 |

    October 2, 2018 – “It doesn’t really matter to me, and I don’t think it matters to Maytham, that I was born here and was in the U.S. military and that he was born in Iraq and was an ally and an interpreter, because we experienced the same thing,...

  • News from the Week of September 16th
    Blog | September 22, 2018 |

    On September 17th, 1787, America’s founding fathers signed our country’s most prized document at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Army veteran and VFAI leader Arti Walker-Peddakotla reflected on...