While other Democratic candidates scramble to meet qualifications for the September debate, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) will be reporting for active duty in Indonesia.

Gabbard announced in a statement last week that she will be taking two weeks off from her campaign to participate in a joint training exercise with the Indonesian military. The mission revolves around counterterrorism and disaster response. She will return on Aug. 25 three days shy of the Aug. 28 deadline to meet DNC qualification deadlines.


Gabbard has not met the DNC polling criteria qualifications yet. Gabbard does not believe her two-week deployment will negatively impact her campaign. “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,’  Gabbard said. “I look forward to joining my fellow soldiers for a joint-training exercise with the Indonesian military.”

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Gabbard is a four-term congresswoman and major in the National Guard. Core elements of her campaign revolve around her 16 years of military experience and foreign policy exposure. “I love our country. I love being able to serve our country in so many ways, including as a soldier,” she said.

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