Sunday Spotlight: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

The youngest woman in Congress and Iraq War veteran on the role of women in combat.
3:36 | 06/23/13

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Transcript for Sunday Spotlight: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
And we're ready to work for you. The pentagon unveiled plans to fully integrate women into frontline combat. It is a topic that tulsi gabbard knows well. The 32-year-old hawaii native is the youngest woman in congress, the first hindu, and saw combat in iraq. She is this week's spotlight. As long as we've had a united states military in place, women have been raising their hands to serve our country. During my deployment, there were missions I volunteered for and was not allowed to go on because I'm a woman. That said sorry, no girls allowed. If you can pull your weight and do the job, you should be able to do it. What we see in the policy change that we're seeing starting to be executed is a reflection of what women have been doing in the military. If you want to make a combat unit ineffective, assign women to it. It's uncivilized, and women can't do it. I've seen women who are highly capable and dispel every single word some of the so-called uncivilized parts of what occurs when you are in combat. When you're at war. That's the reality that we train for. This is not something new. And it's not something that any woman who raises her hand to serve in uniform finds as a surprise. We know what we sign up for. I cannot overstate my disgust and disappointment over the continued reports of sexual misconduct in our military. Last night, a woman came to me and said her daughter wanted to join in the military, and could I give my unqualified support for her doing so. I could not. The issue of military sexual assault and the skyrocketing numbers we have seen reported. They have shocked us. When I was deployed to iraq, we heard and saw incidents that were being reported, or accidents that were occurring within our camp. We got issued rape whistles so as we walk out of our tent, or walk out of our hooch, we've got our body armor, our helmet, our weapon and we've got our rape whistle. It was an eye-opening experience to consider that fact overseas in iraq. That places a greater responsibility on those in leadership to do something about this. We have to do something about this now. Aloha. I'm tulsi gabbard, candidate for congress in hawaii, and a captain in the army national guard. Someone asked me recently when i went back to hawaii, how's it going in congress? Are you fitting in there? I told them, not fitting in is actually a good thing. Catching that ten and a half flight to hawaii is my commute to and from work. You can smell the ocean breezes as soon as you get off the plane. Immediately I feel my shoulders drop, the stress goes away. It's incredible. I hold on tightly to my surf board when I'm home and on to the aloha spirit. I appreciate the opportunity to not only be home, but to understand why I'm working in washington. It's always a little bit sad when I have to board the plane a few days later. But it is absolutely energizing, inspiring and gives a great sense of clarity. And our thanks to tulsi michigan guard. You can see more of the interview by going to this week at abc news.Com.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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