WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard will take a break from the race for the White House, she said in an interview aired Monday, to take part in military exercises in Indonesia.
"I'm stepping off of the campaign trail for a couple of weeks and putting on my army uniform to go on a joint training exercise mission in Indonesia," the 38-year-old Hawaii National Guard member told CBS News.
"I love our country. I love being able to serve our country in so many ways including as a soldier," added Gabbard, a Hawaii congresswoman since 2013, who is polling at around one percent in the contest to become the Democratic nominee for 2020.
"So while some people are telling me, like, 'Gosh this is a terrible time to leave the campaign, can't you find a way out of it?' You know that's not what this is about," she said.
Gabbard, the first Hindu member of Congress and its first Samoan American, is among the youngest candidates in the Democratic field.
Seen from the outset as an outsider, she has delivered confident debate performances, particularly in the second round at the end of July.
Pundits in Detroit, Michigan, praised the congresswoman for a forceful argument in favor of ending "regime change" wars and instead pouring the money into improving communities back home.
She served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005.