Tammy Duckworth assumed office as the U.S. Representatives for Illinois’ 8th District in January 2013.
Duckworth was born in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 12, 1968. She received her B.A. from the University of Hawaii in 1989 and received a Master of Arts in International Affairs from George Washington University in 1992.
As a Captain in the National Guard, Duckworth was mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom and deployed in 2004. As a Black Hawk helicopter pilot, she was one of the first women to fly combat missions in Iraq until November 12th, 2004, when her helicopter was hit by an RPG. Duckworth lost both legs and part of the use of her right arm in the explosion, and was awarded the Purple Heart for her combat injuries. Duckworth continued to serve as a Major in the National Guard and became director of Illinois' Department of Veterans' Affairs. In 2009, she was selected by President Obama to be assistant secretary of veterans.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, Duckworth serves on the Armed Services, Oversight and Government Reform, and the Democratic Steering and Policy committees. She has also been elected to serve as the Democratic Whip for the freshman class.