Letter: Kael Weston embodies qualities we need in our leaders

Kael Weston

As a nation, our strength is in unity by finding common ground. Yet, because we’ve become so divided, we’re paying a painful price. To heal our divisions, we need leaders who understand the only way forward is to work together. Because no one has all the answers, we must support candidates who demonstrate trust, integrity, empathy and the ability to embrace different viewpoints.

I just read an op-ed by Kael Weston, candidate for Congress in our 2nd Congressional District. Kael served seven years in Iraq and Afghanistan with the State Department, improving people’s lives and advising the Marine Corps. By listening openly and working with all sides, he inspired cooperation from many opposing groups, including the dangerous Taliban.

Kael described his decision to send 31 Marines by helicopter to protect citizens while voting in outlying villages. The helicopter crashed. All 31 died. Kael was devastated, felt personally responsible and made the heartfelt decision to visit all 31 graves to honor their deaths and pay tribute to their lives. He’s visited many of these graves which is “only the beginning of a lifelong personal reckoning.”

Kael Weston embodies integrity, empathy, responsibility and humility — qualities we urgently need in our leaders.

Kai Reed, Ivins

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