The Personal and the Political: The Transformational Politics of Sen. Tammy Duckworth

IN 2004, when US Army Captain Tammy Duckworth, now a senator from Illinois, woke up at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after the Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was shot down in Iraq, she found herself in unrelenting, all-consuming pain. She remembers realizing that she was suddenly mission-less—a helicopter pilot with no legs.

Duckworth grew up in Southeast Asia while her father, an Army and Marine Corps veteran who served in World War II and the Vietnam War, worked for the United Nations and international companies on behalf of refugees. Military service is a family legacy; her family has fought in every major US conflict since the American Revolution. When Duckworth joined the military, she intended to serve for the rest of her professional life. But as she lay in a hospital bed, she grappled not only with the loss of her legs, but also with the loss of a dream.

Read the full story in Amplitude Magazine.

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