HONOLULU (Oct. 12, 2015) — Surrounded by family, friends, and fellow service members and veterans U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2) was promoted in rank by the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard from Captain to Major in a ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). Former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka led Gabbard in reciting her Oath of Office.
“Standing here today amongst veterans at the Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery, I’m again reminded of what aloha truly means. Ultimately, aloha means respect, love, and caring,” Gabbard said. “Some people think love and caring means weakness, but I assure you that the exact opposite is true. The truth is, nothing is as strong as love. It was their love for liberty and freedom that gave our country’s founders the courage and strength to fight for independence.
“It is that love for country that motivates our men and women in uniform to be ready and willing to put their lives on the line for the freedom and liberty that is the foundation upon which America stands,” she added. “Punchbowl Cemetery is sacred. It exudes the aloha of those who have given their lives for America. I am humbled, honored, and inspired to be here with them—and with all of you.”
Gabbard was the youngest person ever elected to the Hawai‘i State Legislature in 2002 when she was just 21 years old. As an officer in the Hawai‘i Army National Guard she deployed and served two tours of duty in the Middle East.
After a two year term as a Honolulu City Council Member, Gabbard was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. She serves Hawaii’s 2nd District and is the first and only Hindu member.