Chase Millsap: Veteran +
Meet Chase Millsap, a U.S. Marine and Army veteran who served three tours in Iraq. He’s also a filmmaker.
On one of Chase’s tours, as a young platoon commander in Al Anbar in 2006, an Iraqi soldier saved his life.
“I was out walking the perimeter just like every other day. The interpreter was sleeping… and the only other person who spoke English in the platoon was an Iraqi officer. So I asked him to go walk the lines with me. And we walked around, and as soon as we got right underneath the edge of the checkpoint, a shot went up right over my head. And the Iraqi officer, the Captain, pushed me down, and then proceeded to run directly at the sniper,” Millsap recounts.
As with many other Iraqis who worked bravely alongside the U.S. military, when ISIS gained power it targeted the Captain and his family because of his service. Fearful for his life and the safety of his loved ones, the Captain and his family fled to Turkey, where they still live as refugees.
For almost three years, they have been waiting for a visa to resettle in the United States under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). The case is currently on hold due to President Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees.
Millsap has remained close with the Captain and continues to advocate for him, recently producing a short film to tell his story. “I owe him the same level of commitment that he gave me on the battlefield,” Millsap explains.
Millsap’s advocacy does not stop with the Captain, but extends to other refugees, including Iraq and Afghan allies who qualify for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) because of their service with the U.S. military. He is the founder of the Ronin Refugee Project and a member of the Board of Directors of No One Left Behind, two organizations dedicated to supporting our wartime allies who seek resettlement in the United States. Millsap is also a Veterans for American Ideals leader who has been active in efforts to advocate for SIVs and refugee resettlement.
Millsap sees keeping our promises to our allies and protecting civilians displaced by war as critical to upholding American moral leadership, as well as to our national security. He also sees it as an obvious extension of his own service and the values he learned as a Marine and as a Green Beret.
“In the military, I was taught Semper Fidelis—always faithful,” Millsap says. “This is why I will continue to support the Captain’s case and other refugee programs.”
Veterans for American Ideals, a project of Human Rights First, empowers veterans to challenge the United States to live up to the ideals that inspired them to serve in the first place. We are focused on protecting refugees, preserving the Special Immigrant Visa program for interpreters and translators who served U.S. forces, and countering anti-Muslim bigotry