May 30, 2017

Duckworth Pays Tribute to Fallen Servicemembers at Camp Butler on Memorial Day


[SPRINGFIELD, IL] - On Memorial Day, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) addressed American servicemembers, Veterans and military families at Camp Butler National Cemetery to pay tribute to those who laid down their lives defending our nation. A photo of the ceremony is available here.

"Memorial Day offers us a somber reminder of the true cost of war," said Duckworth. "It is a time for us to remember that wars are not fought by faceless, nameless troops. They are fought by our neighbors, friends, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers-and they leave behind grieving families deserving our respect and support. While we can never fully repay the debt owed to those who lost their lives defending our nation, we must do everything we can to uphold our commitment to those who have worn the uniform of this great nation and to their families who have made significant sacrifices on our behalf."

Duckworth is an Iraq War Veteran, Purple Heart recipient and former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years. She was among the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom when, in 2004, her Black Hawk helicopter was hit by an RPG and she lost her legs and the partial use of her right arm.

"Not a day goes by that I don't think about the courage and sacrifice of those who saved me the day my helicopter was shot down out of the sky, and I look forward to continuing my efforts to ensure our servicemembers and Veterans receive the care and support they have earned," Duckworth continued.

After being wounded in combat, Duckworth devoted her life to serving her fellow Veterans and servicemembers. As a Congresswoman, she coauthored the bipartisan Clay Hunt SAV (Suicide Prevention for American Veterans) Act, which was signed into law to improve mental health care services for Veterans and reduce Veteran suicide. She also introduced the bipartisan Troop Talent Act-large portions of which are now law-to help servicemembers transition to civilian life by making it easier for them to turn the skills they learned in the military into the certifications and licenses needed for similar civilian fields. As a Senator, she is continuing her work to ensure America's military members receive the support they deserve during and after their service.