November 12, 2020

Duckworth celebrates 'Alive Day' 16 years after she 'almost died but didn't'

Source: The Hill


Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) celebrated "Alive Day" 16 years after she "almost died but didn't" in a helicopter crash that took both of her legs.

"Today is my Alive Day, the anniversary of the day I almost died but didn't," Duckworth penned on Twitter. "On this day 16 years ago, an RPG tore through the cockpit of the Blackhawk I was co-piloting, taking my legs and partial use of my right arm with it."

Alive Day is a personal date for when a veteran almost loses their life while in combat, marking a day for individuals to remember the sacrifices they made and honor fallen soldiers who never returned from their tour of duty, according to

Duckworth recounted the events leading up to the helicopter crash, noting how she remembers the rain in the morning and the lunch she ate the afternoon before an RPG struck her aircraft.

"My buddies thought I was dead. But they risked their own lives to bring my body back home to my family," she wrote. "So from the moment I woke up in Walter Reed, I vowed to find a way to repay my buddies who saved me as well as all those who've sacrificed so much to defend this nation."

The Illinois senator doubled down on her commitment to ensuring the Armed Forces "are the strongest they can be" using her current role in the U.S. Senate.

"To me, true patriotism will always be how we honor the sacrifices those in uniform have made for the rest of us," Duckworth added.

Her Alive Day statement comes just one day after the U.S. honored current and former servicemen and women on Veterans Day and the same day of her memoir announcement.

Duckworth's memoir, titled "Every Day is a Gift," will be released on March 30. It tells the account of her childhood through her time serving in Iraq and beyond as a U.S. senator representing Illinois. 

By:  Kaelan Deese