Assistant Secretary Duckworth to Give Keynote Talk at Face of America Dinner

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 8, 2011 – Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Tammy Duckworth, a recipient of the Purple Heart, the Air Medal and the Combat Action Badge, will provide the keynote talk at the World T.E.A.M. Sports Face of America ride annual dinner at the Hyatt Regency Washington on April 15.

A champion for the rights of veterans who are disabled, Major Duckworth’s Black Hawk aircraft was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during an air mission north of Baghdad, Iraq in 2004. Though the aircraft was disabled by the strike, the crew successfully landed. Major Duckworth, however, lost both her legs and partial use of an arm in the attack. She spent time recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and now dedicates her life to public service.

Major Tammy Duckworth

Major Tammy Duckworth.

Nominated by President Barack Obama to serve in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Major Duckworth was confirmed by the Senate in April 2009. In her role in the Department, the Major directs departmental communications and oversees numerous programs. She works with homeless Veterans, and the Department’s national rehabilitative special events. The Major has also created new offices, including one for New/Social Media, and a grant program that awards lottery funds to non-profit organizations working on Veterans disabilities.

A helicopter pilot for the Illinois Army National Guard, Major Duckworth declined her Army medical retirement to continue her service. She has participated in two Chicago Marathons and continues her flying as a civilian pilot.

An unsuccessful candidate for Congress in 2006, Major Duckworth presented the address on Veteran’s rights at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. That same year, the Disabled American Veterans named her as the Disabled Veteran of the Year.

The Face of America Dinner begins at 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Washington on April 15. The Face of America bicycle ride, an inclusive ride for disabled and non-disabled veterans, retired and active military, along with civilian riders, will be held on April 16 and 17. More than 400 participants will travel the 110 miles from Washington to Gettysburg by bicycle and hand cycle, honoring our nation’s disabled military veterans.

World T.E.A.M. Sports is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit inclusive sports organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. Support comes primarily from individual and corporate donations and sponsorships.