I have spent the last few months with Pat Ryan. I have listened to him talk about what it meant to serve in a war that he did not believe in. I have heard him describe in painful detail what it feels like to have an assault weapon fired at you and why he believes that the weapon that he carried in Iraq for 27 months should not be in the hands of civilians.

I often hear people ask him if he can stand up to Donald Trump and if he has what it takes to take on John Faso. Ryan survived a war zone and has literally been shot at. Going up against a career politician/lobbyist seems easy in comparison. This district is one-third Democrat, one-third non-enrolled and one-third Republican. We need a candidate who shares our progressive values but can also be heard by the other two-thirds of the electorate who will ultimately decide this race.

When Pat Ryan speaks with someone who does not agree with him politically, they get ready to close the door but when they hear about how he has served our country the door starts to open back up. Ryan has the rare ability to show non-Democrats that being progressive is patriotic.

Daniel Torres

New Paltz