Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Senator from Illinois

Tammy Duckworth

U.S. Senator from Illinois

Ladda Tammy Duckworth was born in March 1968 in Bangkok, Thailand. She attended Singapore American School, the International School Bangkok, and the Jakarta International School before her family moved to Honolulu. She earned an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and received an M.A. in international affairs from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She began a Ph.D. program at Northern Illinois University and completed a Ph.D. in human services at Capella University. 

While a graduate student at George Washington University, she joined the Army ROTC, later becoming a commissioned officer in the United States Army Reserve. She chose to fly helicopters, went to flight school, transferred to the Army National Guard and entered the Illinois Army National Guard. While working on her Ph.D., she deployed to Iraq. When the UH-60 Back Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents, she lost her right leg near the hip and her left leg below the knee. She also sustained major injuries to her right arm which required extensive surgeries. When she retired, she held the rank of lieutenant colonel. 

She served two and a half years as the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs before being named by President Barack Obama to be Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs. She held that position for two years, then was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where she served two terms. She was elected to the U.S. Senate and assumed office in January 2017. 

She is married to Bryan Bowlesbey and they have two daughters. She is a deist. 

In the News…

At an Asian Justice Rally held at the Chinatown branch of the Chicago Public Library, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth was among the featured speakers in a pre-recorded video. The rally was part of a coordinated demonstration honoring a woman who died after being forcefully pushed to the ground during a daytime attack in San Francisco last January 28. 

Senator Duckworth stated, “Asian-Americans have faced unprecedented hate and violence, particularly against our elders. We all know that hate crimes against the [Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander] community tend to be undercounted or simply go unreported due in part to the persistent, false notion that Asian-Americans are, quote, ‘Not a real minority.’ ” 

Despite that underscoring, the senator noted, hate crimes have risen dramatically. Last October, the FBI reported that Anti-Asian hate crimes rose by more than 73 percent in 2020, far outpacing the 13 percent overall increase. 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Senator Duckworth today? You can let her know at:

The Honorable Tammy Duckworth 
Senator from Illinois 
524 Hart Senate Office Building 
Washington, DC 20510 


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