The veterans plan to form a "human shield" around the protesters this weekend so that they can have some rest after months of an energy-sapping standoff.
"We want to offer them a moment of peace and, if we can, take a little bit of pressure off," said Ashleigh Jennifer Parker, a Coast Guard veteran and spokeswoman for Veterans Stand for Standing Rock.
There have been multiple reports of police outfitted in full military-style riot gear using pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons deployed in sub-freezing temperatures against the protesters, even elders.
New York-based activist Sophia Wilansky was forced to have her arm amputated after she was wounded by a blast from a concussion grenade fired at the peaceful protesters by police. In another incident, protester Vanessa Dundon was struck by a tear gas canister and is now at risk of becoming blind.
"The militarized police paid for by tax dollars… is unconstitutional," Parker said.
"We're hoping if we stand together in formation and look the aggressors in their face… if they can treat us the same way (as they have the protesters) then that should showcase to the American people what's going on up there."
The approximately 1,200-mile Dakota Access pipeline is intended to transport some 450,000 barrels of oil per day across the Missouri River and other sensitive ecological habitats. According to the leaders of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Energy Transfer Partners' $3.8 billion pipeline will destroy sacred sites near the tribe's reservation and risk poisoning the water supply of millions of people.