Leader Spotlight

"If more veterans speak their minds, people will see the diversity of the military, that we don’t just fit into this one cookie cutter mold of what people think veterans are," says U.S. Coast Guard veteran Atsuko Sakurai.

Read More...

"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."

Read More...

Tell me about your service with the U.S. military. Where did you serve? With whom? What was your role?

Read More...

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 service shaped them and what responsibility they feel veterans have to speak up on issues that relate to our national ideals.

Read More...

“Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”— JOHN QUINCY ADAMS

Read More...

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.

Read More...

"[Veterans] can show our fellow Americans that even if we disagree, we are all still in this together. And for the time being, in this very divisive moment, this may be the most important American ideal of all: e pluribus unum, out of many, one," writes Erich Almonte, a U.S. Army veteran, Texan, and lawyer.

Read More...

"When we signed up to serve, we didn't think about what was going to happen to us after. The one thing on our mind was helping the United States to help us. It’s now the U.S. government’s responsibility to help those people who put their lives on the line for the mission and who left all the people they love behind," says Wisam Al-Baidhani, who served as an interpreter for the U.S. military in Iraq for four years. He came to the United States in 2011 and became a U.S. citizen in February of this year.

Read More...

"By signing the dotted line, veterans risked their lives to defend American ideals during their military service," says U.S. Army veteran Pete Farley. "I feel it is just as important that they stand up for these same ideals out of uniform. We should never lose sight of the fact that many of our brothers and sisters paid the ultimate sacrifice for what America is supposed to stand for. America should be considered a “work in progress.” Our work should not be done when we obtain our DD-214. It should be just beginning."

Read More...

"You don’t have to stop serving when you leave. You can still save people’s lives, you can still protect people’s lives, you can still make difference as a leader today without being in uniform," says Lance Sellon, whose 26-year Army career has included both enlisted and commissioned duties, a combat arms deployment to Afghanistan, and a deployment as chaplain to the Horn of Africa.

Read More...