United States Senator Tammy Duckworth has lived an amazing life. In doing so, she has made history several times.
But her path was anything but easy. Senator Duckworth was born in Thailand. Her father, an American, worked for the United Nations and so her childhood meant living in many places around Asia.
Her family faced many hard times when she was young. They lived on food stamps. They were almost homeless. They struggled. But instead of letting the hardship bring her down, she used it to fuel her motivation.
When she was out of school, she decided to serve her country and join the military. So, she decided to become a helicopter pilot as it was one of the few combat jobs open to women.
She followed her dream and flew in the Iraq War! Then, in 2004, a helicopter she was co-piloting was shot down and she lost both of her legs. Senator Duckworth came very close to dying but was saved by her brave teammates. She was awarded several medals for her bravery and service.
Without her legs, she was in pain, frustrated and angry. But then she decided she needed to use her life to honor those who saved her.
She decided to continue serving her country. Using artificial legs, at first, she decided to train again to fly. But then she decided to shift and put her talents to use helping others. First, she focused on helping other veterans with their healthcare and mental support, including those her were homeless and women. She stated the Intrepid Foundation to build a place for injured veterans to recover.
Eventually, she decided to get into politics to use her talents and voice to help others. And the rest is history. Literally!
After some early defeats, she stuck with it and now she is a United States Senator. Along her path in politics, she was the first disabled woman to be elected to Congress. She was the first double amputee in the Senate. She was the first Asian American woman elected to Congress in Illinois. And, most recently, she was the first woman to give birth while in the Senate!
Senator Duckworth’s life is an amazing example of service to others, integrity, courage, and perseverance. Check out her inspiring story in the videos below: