How We're
Restoring Justice
for Veterans

Swords to Plowshares has been a driving force in the veterans’ rights movement since our inception in 1974, recognized nationally for our unwavering advocacy for veterans' rights and well-being.

We're committed to addressing the unique challenges faced by traditionally marginalized veterans who have borne a disproportionate burden of the negative consequences of war. Our work centers on securing meaningful policy changes and fostering an equitable system of care that genuinely honors and supports those who have served.

Prioritize Benefits for Marginalized Veterans

Black, LGBTQ+, and survivors of military sexual trauma face a significant injustice: disproportionately receiving less-than-honorable discharges, known as "bad paper." This unjust classification denies them access to vital benefits, exacerbating the risks of homelessness, substance abuse, and suicide.

Ensure full VA adoption of our Petition for Rulemaking to grant "bad paper" veterans the care and benefits they rightfully earned.
Expand our direct services, focusing on military discharge upgrades for "bad paper" veterans in California.
Closely monitor VBA’s track record of claims review for traditionally marginalized veterans and respond to discriminatory patterns.

Scale Our Impact

We provide community-based services to veterans, but throughout our history we have engaged in advocacy work for all veterans. In addition to fighting for veterans’ fair share of resources, we are also dedicated to providing technical assistance and training to those working with and serving veterans.

Broaden our educational initiatives, equipping advocates and attorneys to better assist veterans seeking discharge upgrades and VA benefits, particularly those who have endured racial trauma and discrimination during their military service.
Partner with LGBTQ+ advocates to expand our outreach to LGBTQ+ veterans and provide technical assistance to advocates and attorneys to assist veterans with records corrections and restoration of benefits for veterans discharged under DADT.

Plan for Future Needs

The composition of the military is changing, with a growing number of transgender service members and an increasing presence of women in service. Notably, statistics show that 1 in 4 transgender-identifying Americans enlists in military service and women now represent more than 15% of service members.  

Advocate for the expansion/creation of programs and services to respond to the needs of transgender veterans and women veterans.
Create a Veteran Advisory Council comprised of current and former veteran clients with lived experience, and who represent diversity.