Iraq War Veteran Wins Mayoral Race In Mass. Navy reservist Setti Warren is one of a small but growing number of Iraq War veterans who are seeking elected office. Warren had been thinking about running for mayor of his hometown of Newton, Mass., when he was deployed to Iraq. He served a year as naval intelligence specialist before returning home and immediately launching his campaign. He is now mayor-elect of the town.

Iraq War Veteran Wins Mayoral Race In Mass.

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And on this Veterans Day in the United States, we are bringing you stories of Americans coming home from war. And here now is Navy Reservist Setti Warren. When he was deployed to Iraq, he was thinking about running for mayor in his hometown of Newton, Massachusetts.

He tells NPRS Tovia Smith what he did when he got back.

Mr. SETTI WARREN (Mayor-Elect; Newton, Massachusetts): You know, like coming home was quite unique in that I kicked off my campaign for mayor when I got home.

TOVIA SMITH: Immediately?

Mr. WARREN: Yes.

(Soundbite of archived recording)

Mr. WARREN: And Im running for mayor because with the right leadership, thats the kind of city Newton can continue to be.

(Soundbite of applause)

Mr. WARREN: When youre reentering civilian life, you have to switch out of a mode you were in. Being in a combat zone, it doesnt matter what your feelings are, what youre scared of - you have to execute and you cant think about the emotional aspect of that. When you talk about coming home, you want to be responsive to peoples feelings and you want to have a connection with people, and I had to do it rather quickly as a candidate going from zero to about 110.

(Soundbite of archived recording)

Mr. WARREN: This election is about who has the skills and experience to heal our wounds.

You know, I remember particularly, you know, the first few months.

(Soundbite of applause)

Mr. WARREN: Youre so locked in to using the suppressant(ph) mechanism in a lot of ways, its like hitting the reset button when you come home. All of a sudden youre home, youre with your wife and your baby, and then youre able to sort of open the doors, if you will, of yourself, and it took a few weeks for me to start unpacking.

(Soundbite of archived recording)

Mr. WARREN: Thank you so much.

(Soundbite of applause)

Mr. WARREN: You know, I started off the other night after my victory by saying after seeing the worst of humanity in a war zone I was able come back here and see the best of humanity here in Newton.

(Soundbite of archived recording)

Mr. WARREN: Ive grown up in this community. Its extraordinary.

I was really overcome with emotion. It was unbelievable, unbelievable. And it really was the capstone of being able to come home.

(Soundbite of archived recording)

Mr. WARREN: Thank you all and God bless this great country. Thank you.

(Soundbite of applause)

(Soundbite of music)


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