The helicopter pilot, Tammy Duckworth who lost her legs in Iraq, 15 years ago while she was shot down in during the Iraq war, came back to the country for the first time this week as a US senator, according to her officials.
The garlanded US Army veteran directed an official congressional commission to Baghdad, Taji, and Arbil, where they sat down with Iraqi directors, accepted intelligence briefings from the American diplomats and, met with troops.
The Illinois Democrat said in a statement, “fifteen years ago I deployed to Iraq as an American soldier to fly helicopter missions. This week, I returned in a role I never expected: as a United States senator leading a bipartisan delegation to show our support for the people of Iraq”.
She said, “I was proud to join Senators (Johnny) Isakson and (Angus) King representing our nation on this important trip — and I was even prouder that I was able to leave Iraq under my own power this time. ”
The senators met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, among other officials, according to the office of Duckworth.
The tour was not publicly declared until its ending due to security reasons. The 51-year-old Duckworth, who was born in Thailand, is the first female candidate elected to the US Congress. She almost never got the opportunity.
Her life was almost ended in 2004, on 12th November, about 120 struggling hours into her tour there, while she was co-piloting the Black Hawk helicopter which was attacked severely by a rocket-propelled grenade of an insurgent.
As a fireball darted through the cockpit, Duckworth attempted to assist to land the chopper but was not able to use its foot pedals. King said he was moved at noticing his colleague return to Iraq. King said, “to witness Senator Duckworth flying once again over the site where she was shot down in 2004 was a moment I’ll never forget ”.
The military experience of Duckworth has recognized much of her work as a legislator. She has attempted to help damaged veterans and confirm payments of troops during federal collapsing. She also has been straight-forward about the significance of safeguarding members of the Kurdish minority who combated struggled alongside US military troops against the Islamic State.
In January 2018, while President Donald Trump charged Democrats of detaining the military hostage over migration, Duckworth dispatched a scathing Senate floor speech, claiming, “ I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft dodger”.