Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) speaks during a forum on gun safety at the Iowa Events Center on August 10, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Stephen Maturen—Getty Images
By Associated Press
August 13, 2019

(HONOLULU) — Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is taking two weeks off from her 2020 Democratic presidential campaign to participate in Army National Guard training.

Gabbard announced the two-week break in a statement Monday. She will return to the campaign trail on Aug. 25.

Gabbard is a major in the Army National Guard who has served in the military for more than 16 years and deployed to Iraq in 2004 and Kuwait in 2008.

She will be participating in a joint-training exercise with the Indonesian military. Gabbard says she is “grateful to be able to serve our country and the American people in many ways, including as a soldier.”

While some people are telling me, ‘Gosh, this is a terrible time to leave the campaign. Can’t you find a way out of it?’ That’s not what this is about,” she continued in a statement. “I look forward to joining my fellow soldiers for a joint-training exercise with the Indonesian military, focused on counterterrorism and disaster response.”

Gabbard is the first female combat veteran to run for U.S. president. She was elected to Congress in 2012.

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