A veteran and military family advocate, Senator Tammy Duckworth has served the state of Illinois in the Senate since taking office in 2017. She was the first woman with a disability to be elected to Congress.
Following in the footsteps of her father, who served in World War II and the Vietnam War, and ancestors who served in every major conflict since the Revolutionary War, Duckworth joined the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corp in 1990 as a graduate student at George Washington University. She was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and was injured when the Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. Duckworth received a Purple Heart, an Air Medal and an Army Commendation Medal.
In 2006, Duckworth was appointed director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. While director, she was credited with starting a program to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and veterans with brain injuries.
Duckworth was elected to the House in 2012, where she focused on veteran’s issues, expanding healthcare, and supporting workers. In the Senate, she has focused her energy on immigration, national security and advancing the rights of disabled individuals.
Duckworth was an original co-sponsor of S. 434, the Iran Diplomacy Act, which called on both the US and Iran to return to full, mutual compliance with President Obama's Iran deal, which verifiably blocked Iran's path to nuclear weapons. In 2022, she signed a letter led by Senators Ossoff and Graham which successfully lobbied the Defense Department to maintain the post of United States Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority at a three-star general rank, thereby helping continue vital security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.