Tammy Duckworth is the epitome of a badass.
So here’s seven reasons why we totally love Tammy Duckworth (in no particular order):
She’s an actual hero.
She has an unwavering spirit.
On November 12, 2004, a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents hit the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter Duckworth was co-piloting. The explosion “almost completely destroyed her right arm, breaking it in three places and tearing tissue from the back side of it”.
Fortunately, the doctors were able to save her arm by resetting the bones and stitching the cuts.
Unfortunately, she lost her right leg near the hip and her left leg below the knee from her sustained injuries. Still, this never broke her spirit; when asked how she is able to laugh about her disability
, she tells GQ
: “I’m proud that I earned this. Because I earned it in defense of my nation.” After her recovery, she continued to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard until her retirement in 2014.
She’s a lady of firsts.
She is also the first member of Congress who was born in Thailand.
She is a champion for veterans.
After losing her first congressional campaign in 2006, she worked at the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, where she campaigned hard on a number of key issues for vets, including ways to improve veterans’ housing and health care. Through her initiatives and efforts, Illinois began offering tax credits to businesses that hired combat veterans.
She also initiated a program that helps veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), brain injuries, and other related conditions.
She strives to ensure the needs of the disabled are being met.
Duckworth became disabled due to her time spent serving in the war; as such, this has greatly impacted her focus when it comes to her constituents.
Where many able-bodied people wouldn’t think about the needs of those who use wheelchairs, are blind, or have other challenges, Duckworth takes it upon herself to ensure that the disabled community’s needs are being met and that they have access to the same basic things that able-bodied people take for granted.
She never backs down.
She is also not afraid to speak up her mind on issues that matter to her, no matter she is up against. When President Donald Trump first announced the ban on transgender men and women
serving in the U.S. military last month, Duckworth quickly became one of its most outspoken opponents.
She fights the good fight.
Aside from protecting veterans, caring for the disabled, prioritizing education, and advocating equality, Duckworth is also known for standing up for immigrants. She supports a comprehensive immigration reform
that will allow a pathway to citizenship for those undocumented immigrants.
“America is at its best when we welcome immigrants who work hard every day to build a better life for themselves and their families, but President Trump’s policies and proposals would take us down a much darker path,”