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Posted: 12/17/2005 9:18:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2005 9:20:49 AM EDT by Dolomite]


www.nytimes.com/2005/12/17/politics/17vet.html?ex=1292475600&en=b47749c137f549d2&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss


CHICAGO, Dec. 16 - During 13 months of rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, Maj. L. Tammy Duckworth says, she did a lot of reading about American schoolchildren "losing our competitive advantage" with China. Encountering questions about her top-of-the-line prostheses while walking around a shopping mall, she says, made her ponder inequities in America's health care system.

And there was plenty of time to critique the Bush administration's prosecution of the war in Iraq, where she lost both legs and partial use of her right arm when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the Black Hawk helicopter she was flying over the Tigris River.

So Ms. Duckworth, who was discharged from Walter Reed on Wednesday and from active duty the day before, decided to run for Congress, joining a growing group of a dozen Iraq veterans running next year - most, like her, as Democrats.

"I had my legs blown off in Iraq, and because I had my legs blown off in Iraq people are listening to me," said Ms. Duckworth, 37, who plans to announce her candidacy officially on Sunday, at a rally and in an appearance on the ABC News program "This Week." "I'm not going to get my legs back, and that's fine, but if that gives me a platform to talk about the things that are important to me, like education and jobs, that's great."

Ms. Duckworth is seeking her party's nomination in a March 21 primary for the seat being vacated after 32 years by Representative Henry J. Hyde, a powerful Republican, in a swath of suburban Chicago that has lately become more Democratic. The district would be a prize for the Democrats in their effort to retake control of the House.

Political analysts and the national Democratic leaders who recruited her say Ms. Duckworth and the other veterans could help Democrats gain traction on crucial issues of national security, where Republicans often have the edge. Paul L. Hackett, who commanded a Marine unit in Iraq, made a surprisingly strong showing in a special Congressional election this summer in Ohio, earning 48 percent of the vote in a heavily Republican district. That outcome propelled Mr. Hackett into a race for the Democratic nomination to challenge Senator Mike DeWine next year and inspired several fellow veterans to undertake their own campaigns.

What the Democratic leaders are looking for is "somebody who can deliver a message on Iraq but the messenger won't be instantly discredited as a typically liberal Democrat - that's the theory of the formula," explained Amy Walter, who follows House races for The Cook Political Report, the quintessential Washington handicapper. The veterans, Ms. Walter added, "have an instant level of credibility to talk about that."

Indeed, Ms. Duckworth, who received the Air Medal as well as a Purple Heart, already has the talking points down: "My role in the Army gives me the courage to make the tough decisions," is one of her lines. And: "Those of us who've served on the ground have a unique perspective on the war and on what it means to serve in combat."

In a telephone interview Friday as part of a carefully orchestrated rollout of her campaign, Ms. Duckworth said that she had opposed the invasion of Iraq from the start, even as she volunteered for deployment, but that she did not favor the quick withdrawal that some Democrats seek.

"I think we broke it and we need to fix it," she said. "We have a commitment and an obligation to make sure that we help Iraqi security forces be able to maintain their own security. We need to come up with an aggressive plan based on benchmarks for when we're going to leave."

Ms. Duckworth's opponent in the primary, Christine Cegelis, a software engineer who won 44 percent of the vote against Representative Hyde in 2004, tried to put a positive spin on a campaign by so high-profile a contender, saying she hoped it would "give our race the visibility that would not have been afforded to me." State Senator Peter J. Roskam, the conservative Republican whom one of the women will face next November, declined to be interviewed but issued a statement admiring Ms. Duckworth's "service and sacrifice to our great country."

Ms. Duckworth lives with her husband, Bryan Bowlsbey, an Army officer, in Hoffman Estates. Their home is three miles outside the district she hopes to represent, but Congressional candidates are required only to live within the state.

She was one of very few women flying combat missions in Iraq, until her Black Hawk was felled on Nov. 12, 2004. In between more than two dozen operations (she says she lost count) while at Walter Reed, she testified before Congress about military health care benefits and was a guest of Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, at this year's State of the Union address. She can now walk up to a mile unaided with her prostheses, but generally uses a cane and spends some of each day in a wheelchair; she still lacks full use of her right arm.

"Amputees fall down a lot - it's just the nature of being an amputee - so you'll probably see that," she said. "I'm learning to tuck and roll really well."



OK Swifties!

Ready.... Set...
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 9:54:40 AM EDT
Cue a new group, let's call them "Iraq Veterans for Truth"

<sarcasm>Ah, she wasn't injured in Iraq, she lost her legs in a car accident. She was a cowardly traitor who didn't serve honorably!</sarcasm>

As far as I know there aren't any Iraq war veterans running as Republicans. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 9:58:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 9:59:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DLoken:
Cue a new group, let's call them "Iraq Veterans for Truth"

<sarcasm>Ah, she wasn't injured in Iraq, she lost her legs in a car accident. She was a cowardly traitor who didn't serve honorably!</sarcasm>

As far as I know there aren't any Iraq war veterans running as Republicans. Correct me if I'm wrong.



Because they're volunteering for their second and third tours.

She earned her healthcare with her service and sacrifice, but I have a feeling she sides with the socialists on this site with regards to the "inequities in America's health care system".

Hey, one of the Marine Corps' most celebrated heroes came out and became a nutty socialist. Not like it hasn't happened before.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:01:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2005 10:11:13 AM EDT by Max_Mike]

Originally Posted By DLoken:
Cue a new group, let's call them "Iraq Veterans for Truth"

<sarcasm>Ah, she wasn't injured in Iraq, she lost her legs in a car accident. She was a cowardly traitor who didn't serve honorably!</sarcasm>

As far as I know there aren't any Iraq war veterans running as Republicans. Correct me if I'm wrong.



They are still fighting.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:07:07 AM EDT
She was at that Orange County Choppers auction I went to. She was also out here where I teach to try and fly the UH-60 Sim. She is bound and determined to get back into flying. Not sure what to think about that. I applaud her determination, but I think that might be reaching a little too high.



Aviator
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:08:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DLoken:
As far as I know there aren't any Iraq war veterans running as Republicans.



So you have no idea, but that doesn't stop you from flapping your piehole, huh?



Correct me if I'm wrong.



Sure. You are wrong: Van Taylor is running for Congress in Texas. USMC OIF vet.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:15:52 AM EDT

Link Posted: 12/17/2005 3:10:55 PM EDT
She's running for Henry Hyde (RTraitor-IL)'s district. It's no loss to the gun community either way. Hyde is the RINO cocksucker who sold us out on both the 1994 ban and on the Brady Bullshit Bill.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 9:28:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2005 9:39:21 PM EDT by DLoken]

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By DLoken:
As far as I know there aren't any Iraq war veterans running as Republicans.



So you have no idea, but that doesn't stop you from flapping your piehole, huh?



Correct me if I'm wrong.



Sure. You are wrong: Van Taylor is running for Congress in Texas. USMC OIF vet.



12 to 1 so far. Not looking good for the Republicans. In fact i'm going to predict it's going to be awful for the Republicans in 2006. Maybe not 1994 bad, but still not good. I could care less about the Republicans. Aside from allowing the AWB to die what have they done in 6 years of largely controlling the government? What have they done for YOU as a gun owner other than not allowing new gun-control?
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 9:33:58 PM EDT
veterans should shut up and do their jobs! How dare they question the current American government and try to change things! Their opinions don't matter and if they are "liberal" they are communist pinko traitor spies who are in bed with michael moore, john kerry, and john lennon... at the same time!

Link Posted: 12/17/2005 9:51:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 9:54:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By -brass-:
Fight!



How is this trolling? I might be liberal minded but i'm as much of a gun rights supporter as any poster on this board.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:14:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2005 10:16:15 PM EDT by Tomislav]

Originally Posted By DLoken:
12 to 1 so far.



Since you already didn't know of any GOP OIF vets running, what orifice did you pull the '12 to 1' figure from?

Regardless, my objective was not to get into some leftard debate; my objective was simply to prove you wrong. And that I did.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:18:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By DLoken:
12 to 1 so far.



Since you already didn't know of any GOP OIF vets running, what orifice did you pull the '12 to 1' figure from?

Regardless, my objective was not to get into some leftard debate; my objective was simply to prove you wrong. And that I did.



Instead of brushing us off and calling us leftards why don't you have a rational political debate and tell us why we're wrong and you're right.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:33:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DLoken:
Instead of brushing us off and calling us leftards why don't you have a rational political debate and tell us why we're wrong and you're right.



Because I have learned that you folks simply are not worth the effort. Sure, I smack you with some facts every now and again, but as you have shown in this thread, the last thing a leftard cares about are 'facts'.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:38:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By DLoken:
Instead of brushing us off and calling us leftards why don't you have a rational political debate and tell us why we're wrong and you're right.



Because I have learned that you folks simply are not worth the effort. Sure, I smack you with some facts every now and again, but as you have shown in this thread, the last thing a leftard cares about are 'facts'.



Fuck you, have a nice day. The US is becomming more divided and divided. I think people are mistaking their belief in a political party as caring about their country.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:40:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DLoken:
Cue a new group, let's call them "Iraq Veterans for Truth"

<sarcasm>Ah, she wasn't injured in Iraq, she lost her legs in a car accident. She was a cowardly traitor who didn't serve honorably!</sarcasm>

As far as I know there aren't any Iraq war veterans running as Republicans. Correct me if I'm wrong.



More than likely, there are...they just aren't getting the fawning press coverage that the anti-war Democrat Iraqi war veterans are getting.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:42:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DLoken:
Fuck you, have a nice day. The US is becomming more divided and divided. I think people are mistaking their belief in a political party as caring about their country.



It's hard not to pick sides when one party actively identifies with our enemies.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:44:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DLoken:
Fuck you, have a nice day. The US is becomming more divided and divided. I think people are mistaking their belief in a political party as caring about their country.



Out of curiosity, do you ever stick with one topic, or do you always bounce around like this from post to post?
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:49:57 PM EDT
Well, if my legs got blown off, I might have an axe to grind too.

Just sayin'. Even disagreeing with her politically, I can understand her motivations. She probably never really grasped the whole "hey I could get hurt" thing when she joined up. A good number don't. Oh well.

Doesn't mean anybody has to vote for her though.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 10:54:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gordon_freeman:
veterans should shut up and do their jobs! How dare they question the current American government and try to change things! Their opinions don't matter and if they are "liberal" they are communist pinko traitor spies who are in bed with michael moore, john kerry, and john lennon... at the same time!




Link Posted: 12/17/2005 11:00:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed:
She's running for Henry Hyde (RTraitor-IL)'s district. It's no loss to the gun community either way. Hyde is the RINO cocksucker who sold us out on both the 1994 ban and on the Brady Bullshit Bill.



Hyde is a slippery buffoon. While he was pontificating over the lack of character indicated by Clinton's extramarital dallying, somebody pointed that he himself was a known philanderer. IIRC, either his or the woman's marriage broke up over the affair. Hyde explained that that had been a "youthful indiscretion." How old was he at the time of this jejune folly? He was a pimple-faced boy of 40 or 41.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 11:33:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ElCamino:
Well, if my legs got blown off, I might have an axe to grind too.

Just sayin'. Even disagreeing with her politically, I can understand her motivations. She probably never really grasped the whole "hey I could get hurt" thing when she joined up. A good number don't. Oh well.

Doesn't mean anybody has to vote for her though.



Good point.....I'm thinking most of theese guys joined before sept11th thinking they would get paid to march around all day and got a wakeup call when they found out they might actually get deployed. I know a few people who went into the army airborne thinking it was a good time as it was "relativly quiet", just a month or so before sept 11. They faught proudly though so I respect that. (and they were all excellent marksmen who could outshoot me before joining(well that might not be saying much ), so I'm sure they kicked some butt over there.)
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 11:57:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gordon_freeman:
veterans should shut up and do their jobs! How dare they question the current American government and try to change things! Their opinions don't matter and if they are "liberal" they are communist pinko traitor spies who are in bed with michael moore, john kerry, and john lennon... at the same time!




They're allowed to have different opinions - even wrong ones. Imagine that.

I love the bullshit where military folk are nothing but trigger-happy morons that spend their off-time from shooting poor brown people by wiping drool off of their uniforms RIGHT UP TO THE POINT where one of them is politically left-leaning, at which point they are a war hero, and somehow their opinion is worth more than anyone else's on war, because, man, you don't know unless you've been there.

Of course, the vast majority of people that have been there and continue to support the mission and even reenlist to go back are ignored, or worse.
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