Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Courage and Joy

I hardly ever refer to politics in my posts, but today I highlight one of the 100 United States Senators for her courage, patriotism, devotion to duty, sacrifice and now, joy. Tammy Duckworth was elected in 2016 to the US Senate representing Illinois. On Monday, April 9th she gave birth to her second daughter Maile, becoming the first US Senator to give birth while in office. Her first daughter Abigail was born in 2014. Tammy is 50 years old and was born in Bangkok, Thailand of a Thai mother and an American father. But her story is even more dramatic as she served in the US Military from 1992 till 2014, a 22 year career. She was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot. She lost her right leg near the hip and her left leg below the knee from injuries sustained on November 12, 2004, when the Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents. She was the first American female double amputee from the Iraq war. The explosion almost completely destroyed her right arm, breaking it in three places and tearing tissue from the back side of it. The doctors reset the bones in her arm and stitched the cuts to save her arm. Duckworth received a Purple Heart on December 3 and was promoted to Major on December 21 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where she was presented with an Air Medal and Army Commendation Medal. 
Having received a medical waiver, she continued to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard along with her husband, Major Bryan W. Bowlsbey, a signal officer and fellow Iraq War veteran, until her retirement from the Army in October 2014. A true story of courage, determination, perseverance and sheer joy.

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