Tammy Duckworth

Ladda Tammy Duckworth is an American politician and retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel. She represented Illinois’s 8th district in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2017. In 2016, Duckworth defeated Republican incumbent Mark Kirk to become the junior United States Senator from Illinois. She is the first Thai American woman elected to Congress, the first person born in Thailand elected to Parliament, and the first woman with a disability to serve in Congress.

About Tammy Duckworth in brief

Summary Tammy DuckworthLadda Tammy Duckworth is an American politician and retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel. She represented Illinois’s 8th district in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2017. Duckworth was educated at the University of Hawaii and George Washington University. She served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot in the Iraq War. In 2004, after her helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents, she suffered severe combat wounds, which caused her to lose both of her legs and some mobility in her right arm. She was the first female double amputee from the war. She is the first Thai American woman elected to Congress, the first person born in Thailand elected to Parliament, and the first woman with a disability to serve in Congress. In 2016, Duckworth defeated Republican incumbent Mark Kirk to become the junior United States Senator from Illinois. She lost her right leg near the hip and her left leg below the knee from injuries sustained on November 12, 2004, when she was co-piloting a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. She received a Purple Heart and was promoted to Major on December 21 at the Walter Reed Medical Center, where she was presented with an Air Medal and Air Commendation Medal. She retired as a lieutenant colonel in October 2014 from the Illinois National Guard. She completed a PhD in human services at Capella University in March 2015 and is working toward a Ph. D. in political science at Northern Illinois University with research interests in public health in southeast Asia.

Her father served in World War II and the Vietnam War, and ancestors who served in every major conflict since the Revolutionary War. Her mother is Thai Chinese and originally from Chiang Mai. Under long standing US law, she is a natural-born citizen because her father was American. She chose to fly helicopters because it was one of the few combat jobs open to women at that time. She became fluent in Thai and Indonesian, in addition to English. She attended Singapore American School, the International School Bangkok, Jakarta Intercultural School for a few months her senior year in the class of 1985, and graduated with honors from McKinley High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1985 after her family settled in Hawaii. She also worked as a staff supervisor at Rotary International headquarters in Evanston, Illinois and was the coordinator of the Center for Nursing Research atNorthern Illinois University. In 2012, she was elected to the U. S. House of Reps. and served two terms. In 2014, she became the first senator to give birth while in office. She’s the second of three Asian American woman to serve, after Mazie Hirono, and before Kamala Harris. She joined the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps in 1990 as a graduate student in 1990 and became a commissioned officer in 1992. She went to flight school, later transferring to the army National Guard and in 1996 entering the Illinois Army National Guards. She has served as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs from 2006 to 2009.