August 30, 2019

Duckworth Visits Vietnam & Thailand as Part of Armed Services Committee Congressional Delegation


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) last week visited Vietnam and Thailand as part of a U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services delegation, where she met with top government officials, delivered an address on the importance of serving one’s nation to a group of Thai military cadets as well as received an audience with the Princess of Thailand, Her Royal Highness Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to discuss bilateral relations between our two nations. Duckworth was born a United States citizen in Thailand and lived in several different Southeast Asian nations while her father worked at multinational corporations as well as the United Nations delivering humanitarian aid in the region after he served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Photos from Senator Duckworth’s Congressional Delegation visit to Southeast Asia are available here.

“This trip to Southeast Asia allowed me the opportunity to speak to Thai military cadets, visit with wounded warriors, see Senator McCain’s Memorial Statue and be granted an audience with Her Royal Highness Sirindhorn,” Duckworth said. “It’s critical that we strengthen our alliances and continue our military and non-military leadership in the Indo-Pacific region, and I look forward to working with the leaders of these two nations on finding common-sense solutions that benefit the hardworking people we represent.” 

Duckworth’s trip began in Hawaii, where she was briefed by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) Command, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) and others. Duckworth then travelled to Vietnam, where she visited U.S. Senator John McCain’s Memorial Statue, attended a roundtable with disability advocates and met with Vietnam’s National Assembly Vice President, Deputy Minister of National Defense, National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee Chair and Vice Foreign Minister in Charge of American Relations.

In Thailand, Duckworth delivered an address to cadets at the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, met with the nation’s Prime Minister, the Speaker of House of Representatives, the Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as representatives from the Thai National Council on Social Welfare and National Council of Women Representatives. Duckworth also visited wounded warriors at a Thai military hospital.

Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years before retiring from military service in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She was among the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom before her Blackhawk helicopter was hit by an RPG and she lost her legs as well as partial use of her right arm. The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) has jurisdiction over our nation’s common defense, military operations, servicemember pay and retirement, military family benefits and the selective service system.