Afghanistan Veteran to be Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Honored Guest at Presidential Inaugural Ball

January 18, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today announced Captain (Ret.) Chris Marvin, a decorated Army combat veteran, will be joining her as an honored guest at the President’s official Inaugural Ball on Monday, January 21, 2013. Marvin was severely wounded in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan and has since dedicated his  life to veterans advocacy. During his time in service, Marvin was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks in Hawai‘i, where he and his wife fell in love with the culture and became conversationally proficient in Hawaiian language.

“Chris is a strong, selfless advocate for our wounded warriors and all returning veterans,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “He knows the true cost of war and the importance of empowering our troops as they re-enter civilian life. It is my privilege to honor such a dedicated servant leader who has great appreciation for the Aloha spirit and shares a passion for issues close to my heart.”

“I am honored to join Congresswoman Gabbard, a fellow combat veteran, on such a historic night,” said Chris Marvin, former Blackhawk helicopter pilot and Managing Director of the “Got Your 6” campaign. “There is a great need for more veteran leaders in Congress who can both contribute to the public dialogue surrounding our troops and who understand the opportunities our veterans present as they return home.”

In 2004, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard voluntarily deployed to Iraq with her fellow soldiers of the 29th Brigade, eventually serving two tours of combat duty in the Middle East. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal during Operation Iraqi Freedom, was the first female Distinguished Honor Graduate at Fort McClellan's Officer Candidate School, and was the first woman to ever receive an award of appreciation from the Kuwaiti military on her second overseas tour. Congresswoman Gabbard continues to serve as a Captain in the Hawai‘i National Guard's 29th Brigade Combat Team.

Chris Marvin served more than seven years as a U.S. Army Officer and as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot and platoon leader he led his unit into combat in Afghanistan in 2004. In less than four months, Marvin flew 40 combat missions before being severely wounded in a helicopter crash near the Afghan-Pakistan border. Over the next four years, Marvin underwent 10 major surgeries and thousands of hours of physical therapy as part of his recovery.

Marvin is currently the Managing Director of the “Got Your 6” campaign, a non-partisan, entertainment industry-led movement devoted to changing the conversation around military veterans in America, and empowering veterans to convert their leadership and operational training into positive civilian roles in communities nationwide.

Marvin currently resides with his wife and daughter in Philadelphia, but says he considers Hawai‘i home.

A photo of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Chris Marvin at a November 2012 event honoring newly elected military veterans is available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/reptulsigabbard/8392568071/in/photostream.

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