PRESS RELEASE: VoteVets.org Endorses Tammy Duckworth for Congress

 ·  VoteVets.org, Press Release


Washington, DC - The largest progressive group of veterans in America, VoteVets.org PAC, today endorsed Tammy Duckworth in her just-announced race for Congress in Illinois' 8th Congressional District.  The group endorsed her previous run in 2008.

"Tammy Duckworth represents what is great about America.  She's dedicated her life, and sacrificed so much for the defense of this nation, and to helping those who served.  Her strength, spirit and ideals will make her an incredible Congresswoman for Illinois, and we're proud to endorse her," said Richard Allen Smith, Afghanistan War Veteran and Vice Chairman of VoteVets.org PAC.  "Very rarely do people get to cast their ballot for someone with a stellar resume that's only surpassed by her incredible heart, but the people of the 8th will get to do just that."

VoteVets.org PAC said it will direct its 100,000+ person database to donate to Duckworth's campaign, and plans to be active in the race.

A Major in the Illinois Army National Guard, Duckworth served in Iraq as an Assistant Operations Officer and a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. During a mission north of Baghdad in 2004, the aircraft she was co-piloting was ambushed and struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. The crew successfully landed the aircraft but as a result of the attack, Duckworth lost both of her legs and partial use of one arm. She received decorations for her actions, including the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.

Since her recovery at Walter Reed, Duckworth has dedicated her life to public service, advocating on behalf of disability rights and Veterans. In 2006, Duckworth was the Democratic Candidate for Illinois' 6th Congressional District. In 2007, she received the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award and was named the 2008 Disabled Veteran of the Year by the Disabled American Veterans. In 2008, she was selected by Candidate Obama to deliver the presidential campaign's key address on Veterans' rights at the Democratic National Convention. In 2009, she was named as an American Veterans (AMVETS) Silver Helmet award recipient as well as The George Washington University's Colin Powell Public Service Award Recipient.

Duckworth served as the Director of Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs. As director, she implemented many first-in-the-nation, programs for Veterans, especially in the areas of health care, mental health, housing and employment. She also initiated a new grant program, awarding lottery funds to non-profits working on Veterans disability, homelessness, long-term medical care and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

She was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. She was confirmed by the Senate on April 22, 2009 and sworn in by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, on April 24, 2009.

Founded in 2006, the mission of VoteVets.org Political Action Committee is to elect Veterans to public office, with a focus on Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and hold public officials accountable for their words and actions that impact America's 21st century troops and veterans. Though VoteVets.org PAC is non-partisan, candidates it backs must support VoteVets.org's core mission and beliefs.

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