Monday, January 19, 2009

Rep. K. Mark Takai Deployed to Middle East

Rep. K. Mark Takai (District 34 - Aiea, Pearl City) announced today that he will be serving for six months in Kuwait with members of the Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Brigade Combat Team.

"It is an honor to serve our country," Takai said in a news release." Although these next few months will be challenging, I look forward to serving with our soldiers from Hawaii."

Takai will be the very first Hawaii state legislator to be deployed during a regular session of the Hawaii State Legislature. He will miss most of the 2009 legislative session which opens on January 21, 2009. Takai will be activated on February 4, 2009 and will travel to Fort Benning, Georgia on February 6, 2009. About a week later, he is expected to travel to Kuwait.

While activated, Takai will rely on Senator David Ige, Rep. Roy Takumi, and Rep. Blake Oshiro to cover some of his legislative duties.

"We have a great team in Aiea and Pearl City, and our constituents are well served by our legislative team," said Rep. Takai. Additionally, Takai's legislative staff, led by his Office Manager Lisa Vargas, will continue to work on constituent requests and with community issues, such as traffic and transportation.

This is the second time Rep. Takai has been called to active duty during his 14-year legislative career. From May-November 2005, Takai was called to six months of active duty to serve as the Deputy state surgeon while the National Guard brigade was deployed.

There are no Hawaii State or U.S. laws that prohibit Hawaii state lawmakers from serving on active duty with the military. Department of Defense Directive 1344.10, revised on February 19, 2008, allows reserve component members on active duty service for 270 days or less to "hold and exercise the functions of a civil office provided there is no interference with the performance of military duties."

Takai is the civil affairs officer for the Hawaii Army National Guard. He and his wife Sami are parents of two school-aged children.


Auntie Pupule said...

God bless him and all our men and women of our Armed Forces!

Lynn Vasquez-Dela Cerna
aka Auntie Pupule

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Gonser said...

Aloha Ned,
I try as much as possible to keep all comments up on the blog, even those critical to legislators. Personal attacks, however, are not allowed. Care to rephrase?

Unknown said...

'kay, den. Sorry about dat.

Can tell us whether the Rep. wen' ask to go? Was da timing (jus' after election, jus' befo' session) only by chance? An' how come only six months?


James Gonser said...

Hi Ned,
Thanks for understanding. I believe Rep. Takai found out about his deployment this past weekend. I don't know why the tour is set for six months, (will try to find out) but it is set by the Department of Defense and applies to the entire 29th brigade, not just Rep. Takai.