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Tammy Duckworth

Lt Colonel, US Army

Purple Heart Recipient 

In 2004, Tammy was deployed to Iraq as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot for the Illinois Army National Guard. She was one of the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Her helicopter was hit by an RPG on November 12, 2004 and she lost her legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion.  She was awarded a Purple Heart for her combat injuries.

She soon became an advocate for her fellow Soldiers and testified before Congress about caring for our Veterans and wounded warriors.

Following her recovery, she ran for Congress in 2006. After a narrow loss, she became Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. 

In 2009, President Obama appointed Duckworth to be Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs where she led an initiative to end homelessness among Veterans, and created the Office of Online Communications.  In March, 2010, the Army Women's Foundation inducted her into the hall of fame.

She is currently an Illinois Congresswoman, a Ph.D. student, and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard.

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