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Tammy Duckworth  

Junior United States Senator from Illinois

Ladda Tammy Duckworth is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party, serving as the junior United States Senator for Illinois since 2017. She was a member of the United States House of Representatives for Illinois' 8th district for two terms (2013–2017). She previously served as Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs from April 24, 2009, to June 30, 2011, the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs from November 21, 2006, to February 8, 2009. In the November 8, 2016, election, Duckworth defeated incumbent Republican Senator Mark Kirk for his seat in the United States Senate.

Duckworth is the first Asian American woman elected to Congress in Illinois, the first disabled woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and the first member of Congress born in Thailand. Her father, an American, and her Thai-Chinese mother were working and living there at the time. Duckworth is the second Asian-American woman serving in the U.S. Senate after Mazie Hirono and next to Kamala Harris. An Iraq War veteran, Duckworth served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot and suffered severe combat wounds, losing both of her legs and damaging her right arm. She was the first female double amputee from the war. 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.


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