As a combat veteran, I know the cost of war.
We cannot afford to walk down that dangerous path of government overstepping its boundaries into the most personal parts of our lives.
I am a practicing Hindu and have made no secrets about it.
In the military, I learned that 'leadership' means raising your hand and volunteering for the tough, important assignments.
When I started my campaign for Congress, I was one who people said, 'Tulsi, you have a bright future, but there's no way you can win.'
I volunteered to deploy to Iraq. I was one of the few soldiers who were not on the mandatory deployment roster - close to 3,000 Hawaii soldiers were.
These days, it's often women in uniform - moms, wives, even grandmothers - who deploy and leave their families behind.
Hawaii is a special place because we have a very diverse population there, who are very respectful and tolerant of those who have differing opinions and different views.
Hopefully the presence in Congress of an American who happens to be Hindu will increase America's understanding of India as well as India's understanding of America.
I am a military police officer and I have served on two deployments; my first was to Iraq, in a medical unit, and my second deployment was to Kuwait, as a military police platoon leader.
I chose to take the oath of office with my personal copy of the Bhagavad Gita because its teachings have inspired me to be a servant-leader, dedicating my life in the service of others and to my country.
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?
I am privileged to be able to work for the people of Hawaii in whatever capacity.
Looking at someone in a deployed setting, it's not in their best interest to get pregnant overseas, but if it happens, it happens.