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.

Get Involved

Leader Spotlight: Buck Cole

"We have forgotten when we were led into a room where the flag of our country and a copy of the Constitution were displayed and we raised our right hand and swore to defend its principles," says VFAI leader Buck Cole. "We have to recapture and reinforce its rightful place in American society, and veterans should play a leading role in that effort."



Human Rights First
Factsheet | April 17, 2018
The Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program 2009-2018  What is the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program?  Download
Human Rights First
Factsheet | April 12, 2018
U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis and the Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program
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. 
Human Rights First
Impact Study | May 08, 2017
Over the last fifteen years, thousands of Afghans—working primarily as interpreters and translators—have provided crucial support to the U.S. military. Because of their affiliation with the United States, they have faced vicious persecution and violence from the Taliban.


News and Views


  • News from the Week of April 15th
    Blog | April 20, 2018 |

    This Monday, David Miliband—president of the International Rescue Committee—reminded us that the United States continues to retreat from the principles that have long made our country a global beacon. Miliband cautioned that if current refugee...

  • News from the Week of April 8th
    Blog | April 13, 2018 |

    Earlier this week the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syrian Crisis, Panos Moumtzis, expressed his deep concern about the displacement of close to seven hundred thousand Syrians since the beginning of 2018. Meanwhile, the United...

  • Dinner and Dialogue at ADAMS
    Blog | April 13, 2018 |

    by Fiona Tomlin

    In February when we launched our “SIV Sips” at Starbucks locations around the country, our idea was simple: Let’s bring veterans and refugees together for coffee and conversation. These neighborly gatherings are bringing a...