Senator Tammy Duckworth
in conversation with Bradley Whitford
“Every Day Is a Gift”
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The incredible story of U.S. senator and Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth.
Senator Tammy Duckworth is a former U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who has served as the junior United States Senator for Illinois since 2017. A proud Iraq War veteran and helicopter pilot, she represented Illinois’s 8th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2013 to 2017. Before election to office, she served as Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2009-11) and Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (2006-09).
In EVERY DAY IS A GIFT, Tammy Duckworth takes readers through the amazing—and amazingly true—stories from her incomparable life. In November of 2004, an Iraqi RPG blew through the cockpit of Tammy Duckworth’s U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter. The explosion, which destroyed her legs and mangled her right arm, was a turning point in her life. But as Duckworth shows in EVERY DAY IS A GIFT, that moment was just one in a lifetime of extraordinary turns.
The biracial daughter of an American father and a Thai-Chinese mother, Duckworth faced discrimination, poverty, and the horrors of war—all before the age of 16. As a child, she dodged bullets as her family fled war-torn Phnom Penh. As a teenager, she sold roses by the side of the road to save her family from hunger and homelessness in Hawaii. Through these experiences, she developed a fierce resilience that would prove invaluable in the years to come.
Duckworth joined the Army, becoming one of a handful of female helicopter pilots at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She served eight months in Iraq before an insurgent’s RPG shot down her helicopter, an attack that took her legs—and nearly took her life. She then spent thirteen months recovering at Walter Reed, learning to walk again on prosthetic legs and planning her return to the cockpit. But Duckworth found a new mission after meeting her state’s senators, Barack Obama and Dick Durbin. After winning two terms as a U.S. Representative, she won election to the U.S. Senate in 2016. And she and her husband Bryan fulfilled another dream when she gave birth to two daughters, becoming the first sitting senator to give birth.
From childhood to motherhood and beyond, EVERY DAY IS A GIFT is the remarkable story of one of America’s most dedicated public servants.
Bradley Whitford, gained fame as the sarcastic yet vulnerable, Josh Lyman, on NBC’s The West Wing,for which he won an Emmy. He works successfully and simultaneously in theater, film and television. In 2019, he was awarded the Primetime Emmy Award for his work as Commander Lawrence, the architect of Gilead’s economy, in the third season of Hulu’s, The Handmaid’s Tale.
Bradley was most recently seen starring in NBC’s comedy, “Perfect Harmony,” and returns to reprise his role as Commander Lawrence in the fourth season of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Recent film roles include: Netflix drama Sergio;IFC’s drama, Three Christs, The Last Full Measure, and Call of the Wild. Additionally, Bradley will next be seen staring in Songbird alongside Demi Moore, Craig Robinson, Paul Walter Hauser, and Peter Stormare; and Tick, Tick… Boom directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Recent film credits include Brie Larson’s The Unicorn Store; Godzilla: King of the Monsters; Phil; Destroyer;The Darkest Minds; A Happening of Monumental Proportions; The Post; Get Out; Other People; All The Way; I Saw The Light; Saving Mr. Banks; The Cabin in the Woods; An American Crime; The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants; Little Manhattan;Kate & Leopold; The Muse; Bicentennial Man; Scent of a Woman; A Perfect World; Philadelphia; The Client; My Life; Red Corner; Presumed Innocent and My Fellow Americans.
His roles on the small screen include, Valley of the Boom, Flack, Transparent, Years of Living Dangerously, Chicago Justice, Mom, Better Things, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Happyish, Trophy Wife, The Good Guys, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The West Wing, ER, The X-Filesand NYPD Blue.