POSTED: 10:46 a.m. HST, Jun 23, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 4:26 a.m. HST, Jun 24, 2013
Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was featured on ABC's This Week "Sunday Spotlight," where she talked about contributions women have made in the U.S. military, the need to put an end to military sexual assault, and her time in office as a Hawaii representative.
"Someone asked me recently when I went back to Hawaii, they said, 'So, you know, how's it going in Congress? Are you fitting in there?' And I told them not fitting in is actually a good thing," Gabbard said on the show.
Gabbard, who served in a field medical unit on a 2004 deployment to Iraq with the Hawaii National Guard, said it¹s pertinent that military leadership responds to sexual harassment issues now.
"When I was deployed to Iraq, we heard and saw incidents that were being reported or incidents that were occurring within our camp," she said on the show. "We got issued rape whistles so that, you know, as we walk out of our tent or walk out of our hooch, we've got our body armor, we¹ve got our helmet, our weapon, and we¹ve got our rape whistle. It was an eye-opening experience to have to consider that fact when we¹re serving overseas in Iraq."
Gabbard also voiced her support for women in combat.
"If you can pull your weight and if you can do the job, you should be able to do it," she said. "What we see in the policy change (to allow women in combat positions) is just a reflection of what women have already been doing in the military."