Tammy Duckworth: Veteran Hero Goes to Washington

Tammy Duckworth is our Mindful Hero for May as we celebrate Memorial Day. She has served her country, overcome injuries, and committed her life to public service. Our country needs more heroes like her.

As a Major in the Illinois Army National Guard, Tammy Duckworth served in Iraq as an Assistant Operations Officer and a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. During a mission north of Baghdad in 2004, the aircraft she was co-piloting was ambushed and struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. The crew successfully landed the aircraft but as a result of the attack, Duckworth lost both of her legs and partial use of one arm. She received decorations for her actions, including the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.

Since her recovery at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Duckworth has dedicated her life to public service, advocating on behalf of disability rights and veterans. In 2006, Duckworth was the Democratic Candidate for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District. In 2007, she received the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award and was named the 2008 Disabled Veteran of the Year by the Disabled American Veterans. In 2008, she was selected by Candidate Obama to deliver the presidential campaign’s key address on veterans’ rights at the Democratic National Convention. In 2009, she was named as an American Veterans (AMVETS) Silver Helmet award recipient as well as The George Washington University’s Colin Powell Public Service Award Recipient.

L. Tammy Duckworth was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs.

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Photo credit: The U.S. Army / Flickr

With her courage and her unflappable dedication to her country, Tammy Duckworth truly is a Mindful Hero. As she advocates for veterans, especially veterans with disabilities, she is a true example of determination.

Note: Bio taken from the United States Department of Affairs. To see more about Tammy visit, https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=1650

Main photo credit: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (Ann Hamilton)/ Flickr