Senator Tammy Duckworth: A True American Hero vs. Our President.

“I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft dodger.”

In the wake of the government shutdown Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth spoke to Congress and stated:

“I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft dodger.”

Watch the video.

As you can see, a more full version of the quote is:

“I spent my entire adult life looking out for the well being, the training, the equipping, of the troops for whom I was responsible. Sadly this is something the current occupant of the Oval Office does not seem to care to do. And I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft dodger.”

A harsh statement, but one Senator Duckworth has earned the right to say. Her story should inspire all Americans.

In 1992 Tammy Duckworth was commissioned a United States Army Officer. She graduated from Flight School at Fort Rucker choosing to fly helicopters because it was one of the few combat jobs available to women. She served, honorably, and as we shall discuss, courageously in the Army Reserve and Illinois National Guard until her retirement in 2014. Here’s a picture of her near the end of her Army career testifying to Congress on behalf of better care for veterans.

You see those three rows of ribbons plus one at the top below her aviation wings? That top ribbon that is mostly purple with white strips on each side? That is the Purple Heart. You need to hear the story of that Purple Heart.

In 2004 Tammy Duckworth was working towards a Phd when her Illinois National Guard unit was called to serve in Iraq. She sought no educational deferments. She deployed with her unit.

Her aircraft was hit by an Iraqi insurgent rocket propelled grenade. Duckworth was so badly wounded, losing nearly half her blood, that doctors believe in any other war she would have died. Only the exceptional advances in medicine and military evacuation capabilities saved her life.

She lost both her legs, one below the hip the other below the knee. When you see her standing in that video it is on prosthetics. She almost lost her right arm which was nearly torn off. Doctors were able to salvage it, though it remains partially impaired. The physical therapy for her leg prosthetics and recovery for that arm was grueling and lasted years. Here she is during that rehab.

Duckworth’s service to this nation was not yet done. Obviously, she could have left the Army after all that, anybody else would have. She stayed in the Army, seeking and receiving a medical deferment for her disabilities. She retired a highly decorated Lieutenant Colonel in 2014. Her other major awards include the Combat Action Badge, the Senior Army Aviator Badge, the Air Medal and Meritorious Service Medal. It was only on that retirement that she returned to school to get the Phd interrupted by her incredible service.

Senator Duckworth’s comments to President Trump while harsh were in response to this tweet from the Constitutionally ordained Commander in Chief:

This echoed similar statements from the President and White House. The effort, of course, is to smear Democrats, such as Senator Duckworth, as uncaring about the people in our military.

Senator Duckworth lost two legs in combat and continued to serve, setting her education aside for a decade to do so. To avoid service Donald Trump got multiple student deferments, and when those ran out the rich boy secured a dubious diagnosis of never seen again bone spurs on his feet. Due to Senator Duckworth’s service, she doesn’t even have feet.

There are two things I can say with certainty:

First, Senator Duckworth has earned the right to say what she did about Donald Trump. Second, Donald Trump has not earned the right to smear Senator Duckworth with what he said.

Written by

Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80

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