Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard: War Veteran, U.S. Representative, and Surfer

Metamora Herald Tulsi Gabbard 2019 Presidential candidate
Tulsi Gabbard, official portrait, 113th Congress

Tulsi Gabbard was born April 12, 1981, and has been the U.S. Representative for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district since 2013. Following her election in 2012, she became the first Samoan American and the first Hindu member of the United States Congress. At age 21, Gabbard had become the youngest legislator ever elected to Hawaii's House of Representatives in Hawaii's history and was the youngest woman to be elected to a U.S. state legislature. 

She was the fourth of five children [Bhakti, Jai, and Aryan, Tulsi, and Vrindavan]born to Carol and Mike Gabbard. In 1983, when Gabbard was two years old, her family moved to Hawaii. Her father is Catholic, a member of the Hawaii Senate, is of Samoan and European ancestry and, her mother, who was born in Decatur, Indiana, is of German descent and a practicing Hindu.[1]

During her childhood, Tulsi was homeschooled, she is interested in gardening, is known to be a surfer and an accomplished athlete. She excelled in martial arts and in 2002, Gabbard became a martial arts instructor. She is a vegetarian and, as a Hindu, follows Gaudiya Vaishnavism, she especially appreciates the Bhagavad Gita as a spiritual guide, and used it when she took the Oath of office in 2013. Gabbard describes herself as a karma yogi.[1] She graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 2009. 

Tulsi joined the Hawaii Army National Guard and was placed in the 29th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, and she was assigned to a field medical unit. This experience was eyeopening for her, and some of her political views changed. After coming back, she decided to further her education, and Gabbard graduated from the Accelerated Officer Candidate School at the Alabama Military Academy. She was the first woman to finish as the distinguished honor graduate in the Academy's 50-year history. She was commissioned as a second lieutenant and assigned again to the 29th Brigade Special Troops Battalion of the Hawaii Army National Guard, this time to serve as an Army Military Police officer. [1]

Tulsi then ran for House of Representatives in 2012 and won. Gabbard has said that "she is pleased that her election gives hope to young American Hindus who can be open about their faith, and even run for office, without fear of being discriminated against or attacked because of their religion." She also led an effort to pass legislation to assist victims of military sexual trauma. Gabbard also introduced Talia's Law, to prevent child abuse and neglect on military bases. It passed Congress and was signed by Obama into law in December 2016.[1] In 2017 Gabbard introduced the "Off Fossil Fuels (OFF) Act," which set a target of 2035 for transitioning the United States to renewable energy. 

In 2018, Gabbard tabled the "Securing America's Election Act," a bill to require all districts to use paper ballots, yielding an auditable paper trail in the event of a recount, and also arguing that it would make foreign interference less likely to occur in 2020.[1] If you would like to learn more about her visit:


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