NMFA’s 2023 Support of Military Families Awardee: Senator Tammy Duckworth

Many of us are familiar with the broad outlines of Senator Tammy Duckworth’s inspiring life story. In 2004, Senator Duckworth, then an Illinois Army National Guard member, deployed to Iraq as a helicopter pilot. During her deployment, her helicopter was shot down, and she lost both her legs and partial use of her right arm. During her recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, she became an advocate for her fellow Soldiers, and following her discharge, she was appointed Director of the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs. She subsequently served two terms in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2016.

A Champion For Military Families

As an elected official, Senator Duckworth has tirelessly advocated for the well-being of service members and their families. She was an early champion of parental leave for service members and sponsored legislation to ensure new military parents could take time off. More recently, she has worked to combat food insecurity among military families. She led efforts to create the Basic Needs Allowance (BNA) in 2021 and has consistently worked to improve the BNA and expand military families’ access to this vital assistance. She has also advocated to ease military families’ access to SNAP benefits by removing the Basic Allowance for Housing from eligibility calculations—a key legislative priority for us at NMFA.

An Award for Leadership and Advocacy

For her consistent leadership and advocacy on behalf of service members and their families, NMFA is pleased to recognize Senator Tammy Duckworth with our Support of Military Families Award.