KAPOLEI, HI – Honolulu City Councilmember and candidate for the 2nd Congressional District Tulsi Gabbard spoke to a crowd of veterans and their families today at the 1st Annual Welcome Home Celebration for All Veterans. The event was held by the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 483 Rainbow Hawai'i and the US Veterans Initiative (U.S. VETS.)
“It’s events like this, and veterans like you, that are so important to me and that inspire and motivate me because of all you have sacrificed for our state and for our country,” Gabbard told the crowd.
As an active member of the Hawai`i National Guard, Tulsi Gabbard served two tours of duty in the Middle East. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for her service and was recently commissioned as a Captain.
"Recognizing the value that veterans bring to our community is so important. No matter what their job was in the military, veterans bring with them the ability to work as a member of a team to accomplish the task at hand, and they embody the value of selfless service and sacrifice. This kind of experience and these values are what is so necessary to our communities, and why it is our responsibility as elected officials to uphold our end of the bargain and ensure that these men and women have all the tools and benefits they need to be successful," Gabbard said.
The event was held at the US VETS housing facility on Shangrila Road in Barbers Point. In 2002, U.S. VETS-Barbers Point at Kalaeloa began providing affordable, long-term, supportive housing for veterans. In 2003 it implemented U.S. VETS signature work re-entry program Veterans in Progress. The Barbers Point facility serves 175 veterans daily.
Event organizer Reinaldo Espada, Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 483 Rainbow Hawai'i, said, “I am so pleased to have [Tulsi] here today. She provides a great example to other veterans that good things can happen once they return home. We need more leaders like Tulsi in Congress.”
Chartered by Congress in 1958, The Military Order of the Purple Heart is composed of military men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat. Although membership is restricted to the combat wounded, the Order supports all veterans and their families with a myriad of nation-wide programs by Chapters and National Service Officers.
A Democrat, Tulsi was the youngest woman in America ever elected to a state legislature when in 2002 at the age of 21 she won a Hawai`i State House seat. Two years later, Tulsi sacrificed her position in the legislature to voluntarily join her fellow soldiers being deployed to a war zone in Iraq. Between her two deployments to the Middle East, Tulsi served as an aide to Senator Daniel Akaka in the U.S. Senate. In 2010, she was elected to the Honolulu City Council where she chairs the Safety, Economic Development, and Government Affairs committee. Gabbard is a candidate for Hawai`i's second congressional district encompassing rural O'ahu and the Neighbor Islands. Learn more about Tulsi at Votetulsi.com.