“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,” Gabbard said during an interview with CBS News.
“I love our country. I love being able to serve our country in so many ways including as a soldier,” the U.S. congresswoman said.
“And 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.”
“I’m not really thinking about how this will impact my campaign. I’m looking forward to being able to fulfill my service and my responsibility,” she added.
Gabbard, 38, is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard and served in Iraq in 2004. She also completed a tour in Kuwait in 2008, according to Hawaii News Now.
The presidential hopeful is set to depart for Indonesia on Wednesday, where her unit will participate in training exercises that include counterterrorism and disaster response.
Gabbard is one of three Democratic candidates with military experience.