Marlene Ocampo ’19
During recent times, women have tried to overcome stereotypes and barriers that they face in their everyday life. But politics can definitely have most of those barriers. A woman that has definitely shown to overcome obstacles in her life is Tammy Duckworth. To start off Duckworth’s career, she became the first woman in the Army during the operation Iraqi Freedom to fly combat mission. Duckworth is now pregnant with her second child which is due is April. This makes Duckworth the first senator to give birth while being in Congress.
What makes her different? In November 12, 2004, when Duckworth was sent to Iraq for the Illinois National Guard as a pilot for a helicopter, Black Hawk, she had a tragic accident. The accident caused her to lose one of her legs and she lost partial use of her right arm, as the helicopter she traveled in was hit by an RPG, rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Even though she might not be able to walk, she has accomplished many things not just for herself but for women who want to go into politics. Duckworth is the first congress member to be born in Thailand and the first disabled women to be elected for congress.
When in office in 2009, former president Barack Obama appointed Duckworth as Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs, which help veterans and their families. Then she helped make the Office of Online Communications better veter’s accessibility. Following in her father’s footsteps, Duckworth herself served in the Reserve forces for almost 23 years until she retired and is an Iraq War Veteran. After being a representative of Illinois’ eighth district for two terms, she changed office and than was elected in 2016 for U.S Senate and became the first Asian American to be elected in Illinois for Congress. Since 2017, Duckworth has become the Junior United States Senator for Illinois,
As Duckworth explained, “Female service members are so integrated into the military, so critical and vital to all functions of the military, from combat service support to combat support, to direct combat, that we could not go to war as a nation – we could not defend America – without our women,” she stands up for women in the military and how they are as important as men would be. The military can be a subhead with much controversy on equal rights for women and me. As Duckworth herself had to go through the experience, she uses her voice to express her beliefs and give a voice to women.
As Duckworth becomes a women in congress that goes beyond boundaries that society presents her, she stated, “We owe it to all our veterans to make sure they have a chance to achieve the American Dream, just like the rest of us.” Her personal life has contributed to her opinions, as she grew up in a poor situation with her family but she soon overcame this. She’s an inspiration for young women and everyone to inspire them to overcome the challenges in their life.