We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us are defending the United States of America. What we have already accomplished gives us hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow. Filling the gap between where we are today and the dream of a more perfect world is where we must align our vision and our actions. It is with profound gratitude and great humility, I am running for town councilwoman. America has been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years. Likewise, it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit – for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear or allowing Christians the right to protect their rights to prayer. These values transfer to how we need to raise our standards and treat Veterans. Americans need to support Veterans by ensuring and expanding mental and emotional health services for those who so bravely served our country.

I know and I understand the importance of the VA and the value it brings to Veterans in our Community. You see, when I separated from the Marine Corps. and settled in Wappingers Falls, New York. I was not only scared, feeling anxiety but also depressed and alone. My negative emotions were so profound that I contemplated suicide and giving up on life. I felt like the world was this painful burden that was just too much to handle. It was at the peak of my pain and in the pond of my tears that I called the VA and asked for help. I went to mental health and I began a long journey of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). While it was hard, learning how to feel and process my emotions were this foreign experience that surfaced fear and anxiety. In time, those feeling passed and this new and beautiful worldview emerged within me. I felt hope for the first time in my life.

At the time, I didn’t know where I would be today in my life. As I am sitting here writing to you about some of my deepest pains, I hope you can see why I am motivated to protect and support others in my position. I believe in the importance of gratitude. I believe that serving God starts with showing gratitude through actions. I am running for the town board to serve our community so that I can express my gratitude. It is through sharing my story and representing the needs of both male and female veterans my heart remains connected to those I share such an impactful story with.

Thank you, and God bless America.