Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) Insults Service and Wounds of Double Amputee Iraq War Veteran
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) on his opponent Tammy Duckworth’s military service and wounds:
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL)
‘What else has she done? Female, wounded veteran … ehhh…She is nothing more than a handpicked Washington bureaucrat. David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel just picked her up and dropped her into this district.’
Tammy Duckworth, the assistant secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, shares a conversation with a World War II veteran at a ceremony honoring about 250 veterans at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. (by Alexandra Hemmerly-Brown)
Following in the footsteps of her father whose long military career spanned service from World War II to the Vietnam War, as well as her father’s ancestors who fought in every major American conflict since the Revolutionary War, Duckworth joined the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (Army ROTC) as a graduate student at George Washington University in 1990. She became a commissioned officer in the United States Army Reserve in 1992 and chose to fly helicopters because it was one of the few combat jobs open to women. As a member of the Army Reserve, she went to flight school and joined the Illinois Army National Guard in 1996.
Duckworth lost the lower part of both legs from injuries sustained on November 12, 2004, when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents. The explosion “almost completely destroyed her right arm, breaking it in three places and tearing tissue from the back side of it.” Duckworth received a Purple Heart on December 3 and was promoted to Major on December 21 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where she was presented with an Air Medal and Army Commendation Medal.