Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hawaii's Vets: Proud Election Firsts

A  L  O  H  A  !

Article Six
 of the U.S. Constitution
 includes the guideline,
 "no religious test 
shall ever be required
 as a qualification
 to any office or public trust
 under the United States."

In 2006,  a Muslim, Keith Ellison, D-Mich.,
 and two Buddhists, Johnson, D-Ga.,
 and Hirono from Hawaii,
 were elected to the US House.

Mazie Hirono, 
my former Leutenant Governor,
and fellow University of Hawaii grad,
  has now been elected 
to be MY next US senator!
She will be the Senate’s first 
Japanese-born Asian-American,
 as well as the first Buddhist
 to hold that position.

 courtesy: MauiFeed

 Born in Fukushima Japan,
 the 65-year-old Hirono moved
 with her mother 
here to Hawaii
 as a shy eight-year-
 old speaking no English.
  Mother was escaping
 an abusive marriage;
  Her snug little barber shop,
 where Mazie did  homework, 
was a fixture for many years
 here in our Honolulu.

 Mazie attained US citizenship
 in 1959,
 the very year our Hawaii
 became a U.S. state.

female Iraq War vet 
Tulsi Gabbard 
will succeed Hirono in Congress,
 as one of 2 (see below)
  "first female combat vets"
  to serve as US Representatives.

Tulsi will also be 
the first Hindu 
in our Congress as well,
 likely to take her oath
 over the sacred Hindu text
 the Bhagavad Gita.

 Born in American Samoa
 to a Catholic father 
and a Hindu mother,  
Tulsi was brought to Hawaii 
at two years of age.

 In 2002, at age 21, 
she was elected
 to the Hawaii state legislature.

        The next year, 
she joined the Hawaii National Guard,
and in 2004 was voluntarily 
deployed to Baghdad 
as a medical operations specialist.

 After completing officers’ training 
she deployed to Kuwait in 2008 
where she trained counter-terrorism units. 

Tulsi was the first woman
 in the history of the 
Accelerated Officer Candidate School
 at the Alabama Military Academy 
to be designated a
 ‘distinguished honor graduate’

Her name 'Tulsi' 
 refers to a tree sacred to Hindus,
 and a healing herb.  

Embracing her mother's Hinduism
 as a teenager, Tulsi is a devotee
 of the Vaishnava branch
 [ believing in the Supreme Lord Vishnu,
 and his 10 primary incarnations.] 

 "Her primary scripture is the 
 Bhagavad Gita, 
whose themes include
 selfless action, 
spirituality, war, 
and serving God 
and humanity. "

Our new Congressional
  hopes her faith will help
 to encourage stronger ties 
with India.

  'It is clear 
that there needs to be 
a closer working relationship 
 between the United States
 and India.
 How can we have
 a close relationship 
if decision-makers in Washington 
know very little, if anything,
 about the religious beliefs, 
values, and practices 
of India's 800 million Hindus?'

 Ms Gabbard quoted by: Religion News Service.

        'That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul.' (2:17)

The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.'(2.23).

 Gabbard said her faith
 helped her through military service in Iraq,
 where there were daily reminders 
that she could be killed any time, 
according to the Huffington Post.

 Newly elected US Representative
 Tammy Duckworth  (D-Illinois)
 was nominated by President Barack Obama
 to serve as 
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
 Assistant Secretary and
confirmed by the Senate
 on April 22, 2009.

  Interestingly, she was sworn in
 by ANOTHER Hawaii guy, 
and favorite son:
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs,
 Eric Shinsek. 

A decorated and disabled
 combat helicopter pilot
 and veteran, 
Tammy is biracial, trilingual. 

She is also a Hawaii gal, 
graduating from McKinley High 
a mile away from where I write this
 in Honolulu!

For a tiny group of islands,
 once an independent kingdom 
that joined the USA 
under troubling circumstance,
Hawaii has contributed 
much to our nation!

Did you know 
that our President Barack Obama 
was born here in Honolulu, 
went to Punahou School here,
 buried his family members here, 
and brings the First Family
 'home' to this island 
every Christmas?

His re-election
has made me SO proud
of our country! 

God Bless America,
all our friends
 around the world;

Especially, Y O U!

How does this
make YOU feel?

Share in comments.

                               Warmly, cloudia