One of the more compelling speakers tonight at the Democratic National Convention was Tammy Duckworth, a disabled veteran who is running for Congress in Illinois.
I knew of Duckworth because Richard has done campaign work for her in the past, but tonight is the first time I’ve seen her speak. What an impressive person she is! It must be hard enough to walk out in front of a big crowd on national TV, but doing it while wearing a skirt that exposes your two artificial legs, as Duckworth did, would be incredibly difficult — yet she did it with grace, and good cheer. She gave a fine speech that touched upon the helicopter explosion in Iraq in which she lost her legs and explained why she supports President Obama.
Increasingly we are seeing veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, who have sacrificed so much for this country, seek public office, running as both Republicans and Democrats. I think that is a very positive development. The political leaders who decide whether our country should go to war, and our soldiers and sailors should be placed in harm’s way, should have some idea of what war is really like. Having veterans there in the room, who can use their personal experiences to tell those who don’t know already, is of enormous value.