Meet U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth
Tammy Duckworth represents Illinois in the United States Senate. Following her career as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army, Tammy worked as an advocate for Veterans at both the state and federal level. Tammy was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, where she has been an active voice for Illinois families.
Tammy was living in DeKalb, Illinois, working at Rotary International while pursuing a Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University, when her unit, headquartered in Peoria, was mobilized in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. On November 12, 2004 Tammy’s UH‐60 Black Hawk helicopter was hit by a rocket propelled grenade. She lost both legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion. As a result of her injuries, Tammy was awarded the Purple Heart.
Following her injuries, Tammy became an advocate for Veterans. While serving as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs in Springfield, she implemented many first in the nation programs to alleviate suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, improve traumatic brain injury screening and reduce homelessness among Veterans. She declined a military medical retirement and continued to drill as a Lieutenant Colonel in Springfield with the Illinois Army National Guard.
In 2009, President Obama nominated Tammy to be an Assistant Secretary at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. There, she headed the department’s effort to end Veteran homelessness and was a leader in initiatives for female Veterans. She also implemented innovative efforts such as creating the Office of Social Media and Online Communications and the Office for Tribal Government Relations.
In Congress, Tammy is focused on growing our economy by advocating for small businesses, investing in infrastructure, improving the lives of our Veterans and cutting government waste and fraud. Tammy serves on the House Armed Services and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees.
Tammy, her husband Bryan, a Major in the U.S. Army, and their daughter Abigail live in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.