HONOLULU [October 11, 2011] --- Iraq war veteran and candidate for Congress from Hawaii's second congressional district, Tulsi Gabbard today praised President Obama for setting a deadline of December 31, 2011 for withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq, but urged the President to bring all American troops home from Afghanistan as well. Gabbard said, "As an Iraq war veteran, today's announcement holds a special meaning for me.
I am extremely heartened by President Obama's decision to bring our troops home from Iraq, and I am urging him to also immediately withdraw our troops from Afghanistan in a safe and orderly fashion. After expending so many years of blood and money in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's now time for America to focus on rebuilding our own nation. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, millions have lost their homes and our entire nation is struggling financially.
Thousands of troops have died and thousands more have been wounded. Withdrawing from Iraq is a step in the right direction, but we need to get our troops out of Afghanistan as well. Our focus should be on using our national resources to promote job growth and economic development here in the United States. At the same time, it's essential to maintain a strong national defense, which we can do far more effectively with elite, counter-terrorism forces than by maintaining tens of thousands of troops abroad and pouring billions of dollars into foreign economies."
As a 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. Returning home, Tulsi was elected to the Honolulu City Council, remains a member of the Hawai'i National Guard, and was recently commissioned as a Captain.