พันตรีหญิงลัดดา แทมมี ดักเวิร์ธ (อังกฤษ: Ladda Tammy Duckworth, เกิดพ.ศ. 2511 - ) ผู้ช่วยรัฐมนตรีกระทรวงกิจการทหารผ่านศึกของประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา เป็นทหารผ่านศึกหญิง ลูกครึ่งไทย-สหรัฐ ผู้สูญเสียขาทั้งสองข้างในสงครามรุกรานอิรัก และเป็นตัวแทนพรรคเดโมแครต ในการเลือกตั้งกลางเทอมสมาชิกสภาผู้แทนราษฎรสหรัฐอเมริกา ที่มลรัฐอิลลินอยส์ เมื่อวันที่ 8 พฤศจิกายน พ.ศ. 2549
ลัดดา เกิดเมื่อวันที่ 12 มีนาคม พ.ศ. 2511 ที่กรุงเทพ เป็นบุตรีของแฟรงค์ แอล ดักเวิร์ธ และนางละมัย สมพรไพลิน ครอบครัวของเธอโยกย้ายไปในหลายประเทศแถบเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้ ตามหน้าที่การงานของบิดา เธอจบชั้นมัธยมและมหาวิทยาลัยที่ ฮาวาย และปริญญาโทจากมหาวิทยาลัยจอร์จวอชิงตัน ปัจจุบันกำลังศึกษาปริญญาเอกที่มหาวิทยาลัยนอร์ทเทิร์นอิลลินอยส์
เธอสมัครเข้าร่วมกองทัพสหรัฐ เมื่อ พ.ศ. 2535 และเลือกที่จะเป็นนักบินเฮลิคอปเตอร์ เธอเข้าร่วมรบในสงครามรุกรานอิรัก และสูญเสียขาทั้งสองข้าง และแขนข้างขวาพิการ เมื่อเฮลิคอปเตอร์ UH-60 แบล็คฮอว์ค ที่เธอเป็นนักบินผู้ช่วย ถูกยิงลูกระเบิดเข้ามาในเครื่อง และเกิดระเบิดตรงที่เธอนั่ง เมื่อวันที่ 12 พฤศจิกายน พ.ศ. 2547
เธอได้รับเลือกเป็นตัวแทนพรรคเดโมแครตในการเลือกตั้งกลางเทอม ที่มลรัฐอิลลินอยส์ เป็นตัวแทนพรรคในการวิพากษ์วิจารณ์นโยบายอิรัก ของประธานาธิบดีจอร์จ ดัลเบิลยู บุชหลายครั้ง ผลการเลือกตั้งเธอพ่ายแพ้คู่แข่งจากพรรครีพับลิกันไปอย่างสูสี
ลัดดาเป็นหนึ่งในตัวเลือกของพรรคเดโมแครต ในตำแหน่งวุฒิสมาชิกจากรัฐอิลลินอยส์ ที่ว่างลงหลังบารัก โอบามา ไปดำรงตำแหน่งประธานาธิบดีแห่งสหรัฐอเมริกา ในต้นปี พ.ศ. 2552 แทมมี ดักเวิร์ธ ได้รับแต่งตั้งเป็น ผู้ช่วยรัฐมนตรีกระทรวงกิจการทหารผ่านศึกของประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา
- เครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์อันมีเกียรติยศยิ่งมงกุฎไทย ชั้นที่ 1 ประถมาภรณ์มงกุฏไทย
Ladda Tammy Duckworth (born March 12, 1968) is the Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and formerly the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. Duckworth is an Iraq War veteran and former U.S. Army helicopter pilot whose severe combat wounds cost her both of her legs and damaged her right arm. She continues to serve as a Major in the Illinois Army National Guard along with her husband, Major Bryan W. Bowlsbey, a signal officer and fellow Iraq War veteran.
In the 2006 election, Duckworth was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives seat for the sixth district of Illinois which was vacated by long-time Representative Henry Hyde. Duckworth lost to her opponent, Representative Peter Roskam, by 2% of the vote. A supporter of the presidential election campaign of Barack Obama, Duckworth was given a prime-time speaking slot on the third night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention. She became the Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in 2009.
Duckworth was born in Bangkok, Thailand, to Frank and Lamai S. Duckworth. Her father (died 2005) was a former longtime member of the U.S. military who traced his family roots in America all the way back to the Revolutionary War; her mother, a native of Thailand, is of Chinese ancestry. She has one brother, Tom. Her family moved around Southeast Asia due to her father's work with the United Nations and international companies, and she is fluent in both Thai and Indonesian.
The family settled in Hawaii when she was 16. She graduated with honors from McKinley High School in 1985, after skipping the ninth grade. She graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, and received a Master of Arts in international affairs from George Washington University.
Duckworth was working towards a Ph.D. in political science at Northern Illinois University with research interests in the political economy and public health in southeast Asia when she was deployed to Iraq in 2004. She also worked as a staff supervisor at Rotary International headquarters in Evanston, Illinois.
Following in the footsteps of her father whose long military career spanned service from World War II to the Vietnam War, as well as her father's ancestors who fought in every major American conflict since the Revolutionary War, Duckworth joined the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (Army ROTC) as a graduate student at George Washington University in 1990. She became a commissioned officer in the United States Army Reserve in 1992 and chose to fly helicopters because it was one of the few combat jobs open to women. As a member of the Army Reserve, she went to flight school and joined the Illinois Army National Guard in 1996.
Duckworth lost the lower part of both legs from injuries sustained on November 12, 2004, when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents. The explosion "almost completely destroyed her right arm, breaking it in three places and tearing tissue from the back side of it." Duckworth received a Purple Heart on December 3 and was promoted to Major on December 21 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where she was presented with an Air Medal and Army Commendation Medal.
Duckworth was fitted for prosthetics and is now fully mobile. She helped establish the Intrepid Foundation and is involved in its fundraising to build a rehabilitation center for other injured veterans, and has been critical of the administration of President George W. Bush for its provision of veterans' care:
Although Duckworth disagreed with Bush's decision to invade Iraq, she said that she felt obligated to uphold her commitment. In December 2005 she said, "We should have been fighting the enemies that attacked us at home on 9/11. (...) We should have been out there trying to catch Osama bin Laden." Duckworth is still a major in the Illinois National Guard, and still serves on some weekends.The Iraqi war has created a new need for these centers ... because of the nature of the combat injuries, wounded soldiers are requiring care of more than just a month or two. We weren't ready for that. But the Army is a huge institution — it can't react as quickly as something like the Intrepid Foundation. And the VA just can't support all the veterans it needs to; its budget needs to be protected from cuts. There are veterans who, after having served this country, have to go without the basic care they were promised they would get.—Tammy Duckworth,
Former Republican Presidential candidate Bob Dole dedicated his biography One Soldier's Story in part to Duckworth: "And to Major Tammy Duckworth ... a brave woman wounded in Iraq, who represents all of those with their own battles ahead of them, and their own stories to tell." Duckworth credits Dole for inspiring her to pursue public service while she recuperated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. In her campaign for congress, Dole endorsed Duckworth's opponent.
Duckworth was chosen by the Democratic Party to give the 30 September 2006 response to President Bush's weekly radio address. Her comments included the following:
Instead of a plan or a strategy, we get shallow slogans like 'Mission Accomplished' and 'Stay the course,'...Those slogans are calculated to win an election. But they won't help us accomplish our mission in Iraq... I didn't cut and run, Mr. President. Like so many others, I proudly fought and sacrificed, my helicopter was shot down long after you proclaimed 'mission accomplished.'... We need a Congress that will ask the tough questions and work together for solutions rather than attacking the patriotism of those who disagree.... It is time to encourage Iraqi leaders to take control of their own country and make the tough choices that will stop the civil war and stabilize the country.—Tammy Duckworth,
At the AmVets' National Symposium for the Needs of Young Veterans, Duckworth called for improvements in veterans health care. She called for mandatory funding of veterans’ health care, rather than discretionary funding that could change with political winds; she also wants improvements in transition assistance for those returning to civilian life, particularly for those with disabilities. Duckworth also wanted the Department of Veterans Affairs to hire more veterans as doctors and nurses because they understand what combat veterans face, and she wants the VA to prepare for the possibility of severe respiratory problems in the future for Iraq war veterans.
Duckworth was appointed Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs on November 21, 2006 by Governor Rod Blagojevich. She worked to develop state programs giving tax credits to employers who hire veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan or Desert Storm, more state grants to service organizations, and backing for below-market mortgages for veterans. She was honored by Chicago's Access Living for "her extraordinary commitment to veterans with disabilities".
On September 17, 2008, Duckworth attended a campaign event for Dan Seals, Democratic candidate for Illinois' 10th congressional district. She used vacation time to avoid any appearance of impropriety, but violated Illinois law by going to the event in a state-owned van which was equipped for a person with physical disabilities. She promptly acknowledged the mistake and repaid the state for the use of the van.
On February 3, 2009, Duckworth was nominated to be the Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The United States Senate confirmed her for the position on April 22.
Duckworth described herself as a "fiscal conservative and social moderate."
Duckworth considered health care to be one of the most important issues to the voters of the Sixth District. She said, "The fact that there are kids who don't have access to health insurance, we need to be expanding S-CHIP. The fact that there are 25 percent of Americans between 50 and 64 who don't have access to health insurance, we need to let them buy into the federal employee health care system. And we certainly need to fix the entire mess made out of Medicare Part D by this administration. So that's what I'm worried about."
According to The Washington Post, Duckworth believes that abortion and end-of-life decisions are private matters and should not be subject to federal restriction. During her 2006 campaign for U. S. Congress, Duckworth was endorsed by EMILY's List.
On 23 August 2006, Duckworth was endorsed by the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers. In accepting the endorsements, Duckworth criticized the Bush Administration's education policy. "The strict, one-size fits-all approach under the No Child Left Behind Act doesn’t offer the flexibility that our local schools, teachers and parents need. The fact that schools in our District are on the "watch list" shows that current adequate yearly progress rules are sorely in need of flexibility," she said. "In our community, too many good schools and their resources are at risk and it’s time for real relief and results for students in the Sixth District.
Duckworth supported the Senate's immigration plan, which includes strengthening the border but also would allow legal residency and an eventual opportunity towards citizenship for unlawful immigrants who meet certain requirements, which include: criminal background checks, paying all back taxes, paying fines and application fees of $2,750, learning English and taking courses in American culture and civics. Residents would then be eligible for permanent legal residency once existing backlogs for immigrant visas are cleared. Some critics of the bill thought it provided amnesty to undocumented aliens.
Instead of building a fence along the border, as the House bill called for, Duckworth suggested increasing the number of border patrol agents by 12,000. Duckworth has called deporting millions of illegal immigrants "unrealistic"
Duckworth has criticized the Bush Administration for "failing miserably to plan for Iraq." According to Erinn Deshinsky of the Peoria Journal Star, "Speaking at a news conference before the dinner, Duckworth said experiencing the war firsthand was frustrating, because she saw how the money was being misused. Instead of having a properly equipped helicopter, she was fed lavish meals. She said simple tasks were contracted to companies for large sums of money, even though soldiers could have easily handled the jobs. She called for more accountability from U.S. leaders when it comes to funding for the war. 'I didn't become a soldier to eat steak and lobster', Duckworth said, 'but I want my men to be protected.'"
Duckworth's strategic recommendations included requesting an immediate accounting by the U.S. Secretary of Defense of the readiness level and the training of the Iraqi forces, followed by aggressive benchmarks for progress and redeployment of U.S. troops linked to the stand-up of Iraqi troops, saying the U.S. should proceed by standing-down a defined number of U.S. units for every Iraqi battalion that can be properly trained and certified as combat-ready.
Duckworth has said that the war in Iraq is not central to the war on terror: "I think a very small percentage of what is happening in Iraq is terrorist activity. I think most of it is sectarian violence, it's Sunnis fighting Shiites ... I think that to try to tie Iraq to the war on terror is a disservice to the real work that has to be done in the war on terror, which includes finishing the job in Afghanistan, capturing Osama Bin Laden and destroying Al Qaeda but also protecting our people here at home."
The Sunday Times reported that Duckworth agreed with General Sir Richard Dannatt, the British Army chief, that the presence of coalition troops is exacerbating the conflict:
"We’re attracting more people to terrorism than ever before. We really need to think about drawing down," she told The Sunday Times. "I want the secretary of defense to come before Congress and tell us how many Iraqis are fully trained. If two guys can do traffic control in Kirkuk, I want to bring two Americans home."Duckworth's opponent responded to Duckworth's proposals by saying: "The 6th Congressional District is not a 'cut and run' district. It is not a timetable district." In a debate, Duckworth reacted angrily to this idea: "I just could not believe he would say that to me. I have risked my life to serve my country and you cannot question my patriotism."
When asked whether she would like to see Bush impeached, Duckworth said that Congress has "far more pressing issues to deal with."
In August 2006, Duckworth called on Congress to audit the estimated $437 billion spent on overseas military and foreign aid since September 11, 2001. She said, "Real and meaningful oversight has taken a back seat to partisan inaction. With the right kind of leadership Congress can bring greater fiscal discipline and accountability to the billions of dollars we are spending on our military efforts."
On October 10, 2006, Duckworth was endorsed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The endorsement was announced in a joint appearance with the Fraternal Order of Police, who had also endorsed Duckworth. At the press conference in Lombard, Illinois, Duckworth referred to the recent school shootings and criticized her opponent's opposition to renewing a Federal ban on semi-automatic firearms, which expired in 2004. Duckworth pointed out that Henry Hyde, then the Sixth district congressman, supported the ban. Duckworth claimed, "Basically, whatever the NRA wants, Peter Roskam will vote for it." Duckworth also supported the Brady Law, which requires background checks for gun purchases from federally licensed firearm dealers.
In August 2006, Duckworth criticized the use of earmarks and pork-barrel spending in Congress. Duckworth said that earmarks should be eliminated to rein in spending and to reform ethics, arguing that they often are divvied out in exchange for votes. Duckworth's opponent opposed earmark reform, saying they are 'part of the process' legislators use to cut through bureaucracies and deliver constituents projects like the proton beam.
In May 2010, Duckworth was awarded an honorary doctorate by Northern Illinois University.