Senator Tammy Duckworth
In Conversation with Weijia Jiang
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In 2004, an Iraqi RPG blew through the cockpit of Tammy Duckworth’s U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter. The explosion, which destroyed her legs and mangled her right arm, was a turning point in her life. But as Sen. Duckworth details in Every Day is a Gift, that moment was just one in a lifetime of extraordinary turns.
The biracial daughter of an American father and a Thai-Chinese mother, Duckworth faced discrimination, poverty, and the horrors of war—all before the age of 16. As a child, she dodged bullets as her family fled war-torn Phnom Penh. As a teenager, she sold roses by the side of the road to save her family from hunger and homelessness in Hawaii. Through these experiences, she developed a fierce resilience that would prove invaluable in the years to come.
Duckworth joined the Army as one of a few female helicopter pilots at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, serving eight months before the attack that nearly took her life. She spent thirteen months recovering, learning to walk on prosthetic legs and planning her return to the cockpit. But Duckworth found a new mission after meeting her state’s senators, Barack Obama and Dick Durbin. After winning two terms as a U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 8th district, Duckworth was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, and later made history as the first sitting senator to give birth.
From childhood to public service to motherhood and beyond, Every Day is a Gift shares the amazingly resilient stories from an incomparable life. Senator Duckworth will be in conversation with Weijia Jiang, the Senior White House Correspondent for CBS News.
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