Senator, Lt. Colonel, Dr. Tammy Duckworth (IL-D) calls Nov. 12 her "Alive Day," it is the 14th anniversary of the crash that resulted when an RPG tore through the cockpit of the helicopter she was flying over Iraq, and from which she emerged without her legs and with limited use of one arm. But that didn't stop her.
On Nov. 12, 2018, she tweeted:
I was quite literally in pieces, but my buddies risked their lives and refused to leave me behind. Every day I think about what they did for me and what I can do to repay them. Making sure I don't let them down is what drives me to do everything I can for our Veterans and troops.
And thanks to Sen. Duckworth, the first sitting Senator ever to give birth while in office, Congressional rules were changed to allow infants onto the Senate floor, no doubt paving the way for other American women to bring their babies to work. Bringing my baby to work four decades ago (teaching art classes) did not impede my abilities to teach at all, and brought a lot of joy to the classroom.
The presence of babies makes life happier, and many aspects of daily living are affected for the better. Women throughout the ages have always worked with their babies in tow, and still often got as much or more done than their male counterparts. As Ann Richards popularized in her 1988 DNC speech, "After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels!"
And the presence of a little baby during a Congressional vote about whether to go to war could even save the planet.
Senator Duckworth is deserving of our appreciation during this month with a focus on veterans and on giving thanks.