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Khizr Khan: A life of sacrifice

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by Khizr Khan

Last week my family and I celebrated Eid al-Adha. One of the holiest holidays on the Muslim calendar, it honors Ibrahim’s willingness to follow God’s commandment to sacrifice his son Ismaeel.

Sacrifice. It’s a word that’s been on my heart lately — and a word I’m more familiar with than most. My son Captain Humayun Khan died protecting the very country that welcomed my family with open arms when we knocked on its door some thirty years ago. He lived a life dedicated to service, and he sacrificed himself for his fellow soldiers because he believed in the goodness of America. But my son was not alone. There are few I’ve met with the dedication to service, the understanding of sacrifice, and the commitment to liberty than the men and women who serve in our military and the families at home who support them.

That’s why I’m proud to support Ralph Northam for governor. As a veteran Army doctor, Ralph understands the importance of service, and he’s devoted his career to helping others as a pediatrician. If anyone understands the obstacles veterans face when they return home, it’s Ralph. He’ll support the people who fight for our country, not degrade them. He’ll help veterans get back into the job market, and he has real plans to make that transition happen. Everyone should be guaranteed the opportunity to learn, which is why Ralph’s eager to provide education our vets can afford after finishing their service.

Ralph’s opponent, Ed Gillespie, however, is cut from the same cloth as our president. When Donald Trump desecrated my son’s memory — and the memories of thousands of others like him — Ed Gillespie was silent. When President Trump attempted to cut the Affordable Care Act, which would have resulted in thousands of veterans losing coverage, Ed Gillespie was silent. But when asked whether he’d accept the president’s help in his gubernatorial race, Gillespie said he’d welcome it.

We need a governor who will champion our veterans and military families — not back bigoted views or stay silent when our president threatens to dishonor their service. Ralph knows what’s right, and we can count on him to speak out against what’s wrong. He’ll pick us up when we’re down, but like the spirit of our country, he’s optimistic, always pointing us in the direction of hope and shutting out the darkness others choose to see.