Tulsi, Gita Jayanti Message 2013

Tulsi Gabbard (born April 12, 1981) is an American politician who has been the United States Representative for Hawaii’s second congressional district since 2013. She is also a Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee. She is the first American Samoan, the first Hindu member, and, and one of the first female combat veterans in the United States Congress.

Gabbard previously served on the Honolulu City Council and in the Hawaii House of Representatives; she was the youngest woman in the United States elected to a state legislature. She is currently a Military Police Company Commander with the Hawaii Army National Guard, and has served on two deployments to the Middle East.

Tulsi Gabbard was born in Leloaloa, American Samoa, the fourth of five children of Mike Gabbard and Carol Porter Gabbard. Her family moved to Hawaii in 1983 when Tulsi was two. Tulsi grew up in a multicultural, multi-religious household. Her father is of Samoan/European heritage and is a practicing Catholic who is a lector at his church, but also enjoys practicing mantra meditation, including kirtan. Her mother is white and a practicing Hindu. Tulsi fully embraced Hinduism as a teenager.

The Gabbard family homeschooled Tulsi through high school, except for two years she attended a girls-only missionary academy in the Philippines. Gabbard graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in international business in 2009.