Whenever our nation has been faced with great challenges — even greater leaders have emerged.

Just like our country took a chance on a young senator from Illinois in 2007 named Barack Obama who carried with him a message of hope and change that inspired us all, we have another new leader emerging in our sights with the passion, values and commitment to unify our country: Pete Buttigieg.

With Pete as president, on day one, we will have a commander in chief who actually served in our nation’s military and truly understands the power of service to bring people together around a shared purpose.

With Pete, on day one, we will have a president who is an actual veteran, who like me, understands the need to take care of returning veterans and help them transition back home and use their skills to serve their communities.

On day one, we will have a president that understands the power of belonging and offer young people an opportunity to serve their country and find a sense of purpose that far too many are missing with his national service plan.

And on day one, with Pete, we will have a president who understands the importance of stopping the climate crisis before it’s too late. He will be someone who encourages and inspires young leaders like Greta Thunberg.

We need to stand for the things close to our hearts — whether it’s criminal justice reform, immigration reform, our veteran and military community, our LGBTQ+ community or our working families.

We need a president who can heal our divides and put an end to the division that has blocked progress in Washington.

As a Hispanic male, I’ve been given so many great opportunities by my adopted home of Keene, a community that welcomes everyone. To Pete, I want to express my sincere gratitude for how he talks about inclusion and welcoming those who are pursuing the American dream.

With Pete, we can ensure the American experience will be defined not by exclusion but by belonging. That’s the future I want for our country, and Pete is the one to lead us there.

ELI RIVERA

P.O. Box 140

Keene

(This writer is sheriff of Cheshire County.)