I had been pursuing a Ph.D. in political science when my National Guard unit was sent to Iraq. Eight months into our deployment, in November 2004, a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents tore through the pilot’s side of the Blackhawk helicopter I was flying.
When I was young, my dad, a veteran who attended college on the GI Bill, lost his job at age 55 when the company he worked for was sold. My entire family pitched in – my mom took in sewing, and I got a minimum wage job after school. – Tammy Duckworth
Southeast Asia was home for much of my childhood, but I moved to Hawaii when I was in high school. – Tammy Duckworth