DNC: Remarks by Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

DNC: Remarks by Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth

The following is a transcript of a speech by Tammy Duckworth, Illinois candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, at the Democratic National Convention.

My name is Tammy Duckworth. I'm running to serve Illinois' 8th Congressional District. My father served in the Army and the Marine Corps. A Vietnam vet, his family has worn our nation's uniform since the American Revolution. My husband is an Army officer. My brother saved lives in the Coast Guard. My mom is Thai and Chinese. She proudly became a citizen in her fifties.

Dad's work took us all over the world until he lost his job. It was a tough time. We used up our savings, moved into a studio apartment. But our family did the responsible thing and rolled up our sleeves. Mom took in sewing.

My 55-year-old dad tried to find work. But at 15, I was the only one with a job—after school, for minimum wage. Thank God for the food stamps, public education and Pell grants that helped me finish high school and college.

In time, we pulled through. With this start, I was able to earn my own commission as an Army officer. I became an assault helicopter pilot, working my way up to command a Blackhawk helicopter company. In 2003, my National Guard unit was mobilized, and I became one of the first Army women to fly combat missions in Iraq.

Almost a year into my tour I was wounded, and recovered at Walter Reed with other wounded warriors. Some of us had obvious injuries. Others had scars on the inside that were less visible, but no less real. At the hospital, I realized my new responsibility: to honor the buddies who saved me by serving our military men and women. I became director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. We led the nation in screening for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress, and we created a tax credit for Illinois businesses that hire veterans.

Then President Obama asked me to help keep our sacred trust with veterans of all eras at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. We worked to end the outrage of vets having to sleep on the same streets they once defended. We improved services for female veterans. I reached out to young vets by creating the Office for Online Communications.

Barack Obama has also lived up to his responsibilities as commander-in-chief, ending the war in Iraq, refocusing on Afghanistan and eradicating terrorist leaders including bin Laden. President Obama pushed for fairness in the military, listening to commanders as we ended "don't ask, don't tell," and on how to allow women to officially serve in more combat jobs—because America's daughters are just as capable of defending liberty as her sons.

When it comes to our men and women in harm's way, we have a clear choice on November 6th. Last week, Mitt Romney had a chance to show his support for the brave men and women he is seeking to command. But he chose to criticize President Obama instead of even uttering the word "Afghanistan."

Barack Obama will never ignore our troops. He will fight for them. That's why he is my choice on November 6th. My choice is to do what my family did when times were hard: roll up our sleeves and get to work. My choice is to do what my crew did for me in a dusty field in Iraq.

On November 12th, 2004, I was co-piloting my Blackhawk north of Baghdad when we started taking enemy fire. A rocket-propelled grenade hit our helicopter, exploding in my lap, ripping off one leg, crushing the other and tearing my right arm apart. But I kept trying to fly until I passed out. In that moment, my survival and the survival of my entire crew depended on all of us pulling together. And even though they were wounded themselves and insurgents were nearby, they refused to leave a fallen comrade behind. Their heroism is why I'm alive today.

Ultimately, that's what this election is about. Yes, it's about the issues that matter to us: building an economy that will create jobs here at home and out-compete countries around the world. But it's also about something else. It's about whether we will do for our fellow Americans what my crew did for me; whether we'll look out for the hardest hit and the disabled; whether we'll pull together in a time of need; whether we'll refuse to give up until the job is done.

So let's finish what we started. Let's keep moving forward with Barack Obama. Let's do what this country has always done: look adversity in the eye and work together to overcome it. God bless our military and their families, and God bless America.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Boil water notice lifted for parts of Laurel

    Boil water notice lifted for parts of Laurel

    Friday, January 19 2018 7:37 PM EST2018-01-20 00:37:08 GMT
    Boil water notice lifted for portions of Laurel; Photo Source: City of Laurel Gov't Facebook PageBoil water notice lifted for portions of Laurel; Photo Source: City of Laurel Gov't Facebook Page

    City officials have lifted a boil water notice for portions of Laurel.  

    More >>

    City officials have lifted a boil water notice for portions of Laurel.  

    More >>
  • Lady Eagles deal 1st-place UAB 1st C-USA loss

    Lady Eagles deal 1st-place UAB 1st C-USA loss

    Friday, January 19 2018 6:53 PM EST2018-01-19 23:53:49 GMT
    USM (9-9, 2-3), which saw a two-game winning streak snapped. (Photo source: USM)USM (9-9, 2-3), which saw a two-game winning streak snapped. (Photo source: USM)

    The University of Southern Mississippi Lady Eagles defeated the University of Alabama-Birmingham 80-63 Thursday night at Bartow Arena. It was USM’s most decisive win over the Lady Blazers in 11 years, and handed first-place UAB its first Conference USA loss of the year.

    More >>

    The University of Southern Mississippi Lady Eagles defeated the University of Alabama-Birmingham 80-63 Thursday night at Bartow Arena. It was USM’s most decisive win over the Lady Blazers in 11 years, and handed first-place UAB its first Conference USA loss of the year.

    More >>
  • State maintains "B" grade for efforts to fight human trafficking

    State maintains "B" grade for efforts to fight human trafficking

    Friday, January 19 2018 6:18 PM EST2018-01-19 23:18:40 GMT
    The group, Advocates for Freedom, has put up billboards like this across Mississippi to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking. Source: WDAM.The group, Advocates for Freedom, has put up billboards like this across Mississippi to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking. Source: WDAM.

    For the fifth year in a row, a national organization has given Mississippi a "B" grade for its efforts to fight human trafficking.  Shared Hope International, based in Vancouver, Washington, issues an annual state report card on human trafficking laws. It says Mississippi has effective laws, but should make human trafficking training for law enforcement mandatory, rather than voluntary.  Some people in the Hattiesburg area who work to increase awareness of human...

    More >>

    For the fifth year in a row, a national organization has given Mississippi a "B" grade for its efforts to fight human trafficking.  Shared Hope International, based in Vancouver, Washington, issues an annual state report card on human trafficking laws. It says Mississippi has effective laws, but should make human trafficking training for law enforcement mandatory, rather than voluntary.  Some people in the Hattiesburg area who work to increase awareness of human...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly