Tulsi Gabbard: The Political Junkie’s Soldier’s Soldier!

Paul Hair

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Ever since I enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve in 2004, I’ve endured people treating non-active duty, non-combat arms troops as “not real servicemen.” Okay. Whatever. And yet when it comes to Tulsi Gabbard, a politician and Hawaii Army National Guardsman, people on the left and the right (probably mostly on the right) suddenly swoon over her as some sort of Warrior Woman. It’s odd but not unexpected.

Political junkies on Twitter are all about championing Tulsi Gabbard and her run for president. And one thing they inevitably bring up is her military service—how that is an important part of her qualifications. “She’s a politician AND a warrior!”

Really?

You see, I served eight years in the Army Reserve as a military intelligence analyst. And to this day, I still see people refer to any of the reserve components as “not the real Army,” and imply that anyone in a non-combat-arms specialty is not a real soldier.

Even the fact that I’m an Iraq War veteran doesn’t help me. “Yeah, but you just spent your deployment on a FOB! You were a FOBIT! You’re just a POG [person other than grunt]! You’re just a REMF [rear echelon mother f***er]!”

By the way, both other veterans AND civilians (who never served a day in their lives) feel comfortable saying or implying such things.

But again, whatever.

And yet when it comes to Tulsi Gabbard, who is in a reserve component and holds a non-combat arms specialty, political junkies—veteran and non—suddenly go gaga. “She’s a Soldier’s Soldier! And most definitely the Democrats should give her a place on the debate stage! She’s one of the most qualified candidates and her military service is one of the big reasons why! She’s such a superheroine even if I don’t agree with all of her ideas!”

Right.

So I don’t get it. I don’t get any of the heart-eyes and giggle-filled cheering over Gabbard.

But you do you, political junkies. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I find your behavior odd but certainly not unexpected.

Top Image: U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii addresses the National Guard Association of the United States 138th General Conference, Baltimore, Md., Sept. 12, 2016. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jim Greenhill)

Note: The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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