Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth does not try to hide her prosthetic legs. In fact, the double-amputee flaunts them in a patriotic way, with American flag and olive-green camouflage designs below the knees. As one of the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Duckworth lost both legs when a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) missile hit the Blackhawk helicopter she was piloting nine years ago as a member of the Illinois Army National Guard. She also lost partial use of her right arm in the explosion and was awarded a Purple Heart for her combat injuries.
Duckworth, who declined a military medical retirement and continues to drill as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard, is the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Since her recovery, she has taken up scuba diving, surfing, skydiving, flies as a civilian pilot, and has completed several marathons.