Senator Tammy Duckworth is the consummate American hero. Her resume is so impressive it brings tears to my eyes. Duckworth served in the US Army in Iraq as a helicopter pilot. It was one of the few combat positions available to women. She suffered severe combat wounds and became a double amputee in 2004. After recovery, she went BACK into military service for another decade. She retired from the Illinois Army National Guard in 2014 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Duckworth served as the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and as the Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The Senator lost her first bid for Illinois’ 6th congressional district in 2006. In 2012 she won her bid for Illinois’ 8th congressional district, becoming the first disabled woman elected to the House. She was also the first member of Congress born in Thailand. After serving two terms in the House, she defeated incumbent Senator Mark Kirk to become the junior Senator representing Illinois. She also got her Ph.D. in Human Services in 2015. I’m not kidding. This woman is incredible. She needs her own movie, for sure.
Currently, Senator Tammy Duckworth is serving in the US Senate while growing another human being in her body. She will be the first Senator to give birth while in office and per usual, she’s going above and beyond the call of duty to shine a spotlight on the lack of maternity leave and provisions for women in Congress. This issue is crucial because US family leave policies are atrocious. It’s impossible for women to achieve equal pay without considering their ability to care for their children and family members.
In a recent statement, Duckworth summed it up perfectly,
“Parenthood isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s an economic issue and an issue that affects all parents — men and women alike. As tough as juggling the demands of motherhood and being a senator can be, I’m hardly alone or unique as a working parent, and Abigail has only made me more committed to doing my job and standing up for hardworking families everywhere.”