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Duckworth visits Iraq for first time since helicopter she piloted was shot down

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill, has returned from Iraq. It was her first trip there since 2004, when the helicopter she was piloting as a member of the Army National Guard was shot down. Duckworth lost both legs in the attack. | Provided

WASHINGTON – Wounded Iraq war veteran Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., returned to Iraq this week for the first time since her helicopter was shot down, arriving this time as part of an official congressional delegation.

Duckworth, Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, visited Baghdad, Taji and Erbil, meeting with U.S. troops, Iraqi leaders and U.S. diplomats in the region over three days.

The last time Duckworth was in Iraq was in 2004; she was serving in the Illinois National Guard and the Blackhawk helicopter she was flying was shot down.

Congress is on break for the Passover and Easter holidays.

“Fifteen years ago, I deployed to Iraq as an American Soldier to fly helicopter missions. This week, I returned in a role I never expected: as a United States Senator leading a bipartisan delegation to show our support for the people of Iraq and express our hope that Iraq will be an independent, strong country and a close ally of the United States for many years to come,” said Duckworth.

“I was proud to join Senators Isakson and King representing our nation on this important trip – and I was even prouder that I was able to leave Iraq under my own power this time.”

Duckworth lost her legs and the partial use of her right arm as a result of the attack.

This year, she joined the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill, has returned from Iraq. It was her first trip there since 2004, when the helicopter she was piloting as a member of the Army National Guard was shot down. Duckworth lost both legs in the attack. | Provided
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill, has returned from Iraq. It was her first trip there since 2004, when the helicopter she was piloting as a member of the Army National Guard was shot down. Duckworth lost both legs in the attack. | Provided