State legislator 'honored' to serve country
By Zenaida Serrano Espanol
Advertiser Staff Writer
State Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo knows what it's like to serve the state. Now she'll serve the country.
"In history, some generations have been given everything, and now in this generation where there's a war on terrorism, I'm honored to have the opportunity to give something. ... I promise my constituents that my service to the military will not in any way get in the way of my serving them," said Gabbard Tamayo, 22.
Gabbard Tamayo will undergo nine weeks of basic training in Texas beginning June 2, a month after the Legislature adjourns.
Rep. K. Mark Takai, D-34th (Pearl City, Newtown, Royal Summit), is also in the National Guard and has been serving for four years.
Gabbard Tamayo said she will have an administrative position with the medical command, where Takai, a captain, serves as a preventive medical officer.
Both representatives are the only legislators serving in the Hawai'i National Guard, Takai said.
"I think it's even more so important that people in the Legislature and people close to state government have an opportunity to do this because it provides a perspective much wider than the role we serve as state lawmakers," Takai said.
Gabbard Tamayo's parents, Mike and Carol Gabbard, stood by with smiles on their faces as Col. Lon Paresa, who also serves as House assistant sergeant at arms, swore in the representative.