US Representative Tulsi Gabbard on veterans, Red Hill, and Syria

The nation just observed Veteran’s Day to thank our military members for preserving America’s freedom. US Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D- Hawaii), herself a veteran, spent her Veteran’s Day morning on Kauai, thanking veterans for their service. She says she met two of the oldest veterans on the island: ages 100 and 102 years old!

“This is also the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. I met with and thanked some Vietnam vets who were moved to tears because no one had ever thanked them for their service,” she reflects solemnly.

That emotion propels her to, she says, continue to advocate for veterans. “The cost of these wars continues to take a toll. It’s important for me to continue to make sure our vets are honored, that the promises the nation made are kept, and keep pushing for reforms to make sure they get the benefits they earned.”

Rep. Gabbard also shares her concerns about Red Hill’s fuel tanks on Oahu. “Last year’s leak of 27,000 to 40,000 gallons of fuel from underground fuel tanks is alarming. When you look at the danger for Oahu residents- the tanks sit over the water aquifer serving over 25% of the population- if the water is contaminated, there is nothing you can do. If the Navy needs to continue to have those tanks there for security, it has to take the necessary steps to protect aquifers.”

On Thursday, US Navy Captain Ken Epps told Wake Up 2day the Navy is committed to the safety of the aquifers, and that moving the tanks elsewhere is not an option right now.

Rep. Gabbard’s response is that “new EPA regulations require any new tanks have a double lining for better leak protection; at minimum that needs to be done at Red Hill.” She also wants to see “better leak and corrosion detection systems in place. These tanks are so huge, that even a small deviation in the fuel level in these tanks is thousands and thousands of gallons.”

We also asked her thoughts on US foreign policy on Syria, which she has been a vocal opponent of. “It’s my duty to make sure our service members aren’t sent out on missions that are unclear, that don’t best serve the national interest of the US.”

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