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War hero Tammy Duckworth to speak at DNC

War hero Tammy Duckworth is in a tight congressional battle against Joe Walsh in Illinois.

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Tammy Duckworth (Wikimedia commons)

War hero and congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth will speak at the Democratic National Convention tonight.

Born in Thailand, Duckworth's family moved around Southeast Asia for many years for her father's United Nations job before settling in Hawaii when she was 16.

She is fluent in Thai, Indonesian and English.

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Duckworth, 44, earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Hawaii, a Master of Arts in International Affairs from George Washington University and was working toward a doctorate in political science from Northern Illinois University when she was deployed to Iraq in 2004.

The Army reserve lieutenant colonel lost both her legs when the Blackhawk helicopter she was co-piloting was shot down by Iraqi insurgents.

She was later awarded the Purple Heart for her combat injuries.

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After losing a close Illinois congressional race in 2006, Duckworth became director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

In 2009, President Barack Obama tapped her to be Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

She is currently running for the 8th Congressional District against Republican incumbent Joe Walsh, a congressman known mainly for his hotheaded behavior and eccentric statements.

Walsh made headlines recently when he accused Duckworth of bragging about her military service and said she's not a "true hero."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120904/war-hero-tammy-duckworth-speak-at-dnc