Vets for Freedom/mission changes

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

This article is part of the SourceWatch coverage of Vets for Freedom (VFF) and
Vets for Freedom Action Fund (VFF-AF).
Related articles:

The Vets for Freedom website originally stated the following as its mission:[1]

"In 2006, this group of veterans, enlisted personnel, and officers decided to take action. The result was the creation of Vets for Freedom, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the unbiased, nonpartisan truth of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to educate the public and mobilize public support for the Global War on Terror." (emphasis added)

March 2006

On March 31, 2006, the Wall Street Journal blog Washington Wire reported:[2]

"WAR VETS ORGANIZE to back Bush on Iraq., a nonprofit group of recently returned soldiers, cites a 'disconnect' between what soldiers and veterans think about the war and what’s portrayed in the media. 'We’ve got good men dying and the politicians are using it for political grandstanding,' says Wade Zirkle, a co-founder who served two deployments to Iraq."

July 2006

"Zirkle said the group was founded in January [2006] to speak on college campuses and write op-ed articles," Mark Pazniokas reported September 7, 2006, in the Hartford Courant (CT).[3] (emphasis added)

"It formed a political arm in July with fundraising help from its Washington advisers," Zirkle said: "'They have pointed me in the right direction in every fundraising meeting we've had'."[4]

August 2006

In August 2006, the Vets for Freedom Action Fund website stated that it is "a nonpartisan organization established by combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our mission is to support policymakers from both sides of the aisle who have stood behind our great generation of American warriors on the battlefield, and who have put long-term national security before short-term partisan political gain."[5] (emphasis added)

"The mission of the Vets for Freedom Action Fund is to ensure that our troops and veterans are represented in Washington by people of character who understand the stakes of our long war against Islamofascism. Steadfastness in this fight is critical to our long-term nation security, and it is the aim of our organization to stand by those in Washington who stand by our shared values as we fight our nation's Global War on Terror," its website stated.[6] (emphasis added)

The Vets for Freedom Action Fund "was borne out of Vets for Freedom, a leading voice representing active duty troops and veterans from the Global War on Terror," its website states.[7]

September 2006

"Iraq War veteran and anti-war Democratic candidate Paul Hackett attracted significant media attention roughly a year ago when he narrowly lost a congressional race in a heavily Republican Ohio district, setting the stage for a 2006 Democratic candidate onslaught of anti-war Iraq veterans. In an effort to combat the growing—and false—public perception that Iraq War veterans have lost hope for the mission, Wade Zirkle and other veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan formed Vets for Freedom and its Political Action Committee (PAC), Vets for Freedom Action Fund," Kevin Combest wrote in the September 19, 2006, issue of Human Events Online.[8] "Vets for Freedom was born out of the necessity, as they saw it, to present the true feelings of the troops and raise money to support their mission." (emphasis added)


  1. Archived copy of "About" page, Vets for Freedom, July 16, 2006.
  2. "Republicans Eye Tax-Cut Victory. Republicans grow confident of salvaging modest tax-cut victory," Washington Wire/Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2006.
  3. Mark Pazniokas, "Vets' Ad for Lieberman Called 'Swiftboating'," Hartford Courant (, September 7, 2006.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Archived "About" page, Vets for Freedom, August 12, 2006.
  6. Archived page for this quote is not available.
  7. Archived "About" page, Vets for Freedom, August 12, 2006.
  8. Kevin Combest, "Conservative Spotlight: Vets for Freedom," Human Events Online, September 19, 2006.