Ten years ago, I nearly lost my life when an RPG tore through the cockpit of my Black Hawk helicopter in Iraq.
The only reason I made it home was because of the heroism of my courageous buddies who risked their lives to save mine. I have an obligation to honor their sacrifice by making the most of this second chance in my life - this bonus time - and continuing to serve our nation, in any way I can.
That's why I'm announcing today that I'm running to represent Illinois in the United States Senate.
Watch the announcement video below to learn more about why I'm running, then sign up to join the campaign from Day 1.
We deserve elected officials who will do for our fellow Americans what my crew did for me in Iraq: look out for our hardest hit and most vulnerable, work together for the sake of our mission, and refuse to give up until the job is done.
This will be a long, tough campaign. But no matter how hard it gets, I know nothing will ever be as bad as that day in Iraq, and that allows me to be fearless about speaking up and doing the right thing.
I promise to fight my heart out during this campaign and to represent Illinois with honor and integrity. With you alongside me, I know we can win and that together, we will make America stronger.
Join the campaign today.
Syria is undergoing a humanitarian crisis. While the United States cannot stand by as innocent civilians are being massacred, it's my responsibility as a Member of Congress to make sure we don't commit resources, the most precious of which are our men and women in uniform, with no comprehensive plan for our involvement.
While I support the President's authority to initiate action since he was elected by this nation and in light of the divisiveness in Congress today, I will have tough questions for the Administration should they intervene prior to Congressional approval.
In the days ahead I will be seeking more information from our military and intelligence communities. But until I feel it's imperative to our national security, I will not support preemptive intervention in Syria.
America shouldn't bear the burden unilaterally, especially since none of our allies, including those in the region, have committed to action.
It's military families like mine that are the first to bleed when our nation makes this kind of commitment. It's my obligation to make sure our government honors our troops willingness to sacrifice when we make such a decision.
The stakes in this election are high and the outcome of the Presidential, Senate & Congressional races this cycle will determine which path we follow as a nation. Either we’ll move our country forward by rebuilding the economy and creating good jobs, continuing to make college more affordable, and preserving critical programs like Social Security & Medicare. Or we’ll face continued attacks against women’s health, more tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, and spending cuts that hurt our most vulnerable. It’s an important choice and your vote has the power to make a difference.
On Labor Day, we celebrate the hard work and ability to make your own future that is at the heart of the American Dream.
When in Congress, I will work hard to rebuild our economy and create good jobs for American workers - jobs that give people the security to meet their needs and support their children. I know that unions have always been at the front lines of that fight.
The labor movement is the movement that fought for a minimum wage, a 40-hour workweek, Medicare, Social Security and the weekend. It helped build a strong middle class and develop America into a strong nation. At a time when unions are under attack nationally, I will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with labor leaders to defend workers’ rights.
Whether it's working behind a desk or rebuilding America's infrastructure, American workers deserve an economy that rewards hard work and responsibility.
The American Dream I believe in is one that provides anyone willing to work hard enough with the opportunity to succeed. Life isn't fair and it isn't government's job to make life fair. But if you're not willing to give up on yourself, then we shouldn't give up on you either.
Happy Labor Day,
From the Duckworth for Congress staff:
Joe Walsh is at again. At a fundraiser this weekend, here’s what he said about the President of the United States:
“I think [the Tea Party is] going to respectfully pick this president up and pat him on the head and say, son, son, son, Mr. President, you were never ready to be president, now go home and work for somebody and find out how the real world works.”
That’s not all. When a civil rights organization called ColorOfChange pointed out that calling the president “son” was a disrespectful way to refer to the Commander-In-Chief, Walsh responded by telling the group to “grow up, get a life and smile.”
Tell Walsh that his comments are inappropriate and offensive, especially coming from a Member of Congress.
Walsh has a long history of using condescending names and insults toward people whom he disagrees with politically. He has also patronizingly called Tammy “my dear,” disparaged her military service, referred to a female TV host as “kiddo,” claimed that African-Americans are “dependent upon government” and that “Jesse Jackson would be out of work if they weren’t,” and said that Veterans who disagree with him “don’t understand this country.”
It’s bad enough that Walsh constantly refuses common-sense compromises on legislation. But not treating political opponents with even a minimum level of civility? That’s unacceptable.
It can be easy to tune out Walsh’s offensive comments since, frankly, there are just so many of them. But we have a responsibility to hold him accountable every time. Sign the petition now.
At a recent town hall, Tea Party favorite, Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois was caught on tape saying:
“The Democratic Party promises groups of people everything. They want the Hispanic vote. They want Hispanics to be dependent upon government, just like they got African-Americans dependent upon government. That’s their game.”
Walsh’s comments are not only offensive, they are especially irresponsible coming from a sitting Member of Congress.
Please join me in telling Walsh his comments are unacceptable.
Walsh has a long history of inappropriate and offensive comments. He has claimed--more than once--that Americans voted for Obama “based on who he was: a historical figure - our first black president.” He’s said that illegal immigrants “should be deported immediately, no questions asked.” In February, while talking about school choice, he said “African Americans and Hispanics love this issue...Republicans have to do a better job of talking freedom to some of these other populations. Because all the Democrats want to do is put ‘em on a plantation, they could care less of them.”
Enough is enough. This isn’t just a one-time gaffe--it’s a pattern. We can’t let Joe Walsh get away with these disparaging comments any longer.
It’s time to hold him accountable.
Today, less than one-half of 1 percent of this nation is serving in uniform. We have come a long way from the Vietnam era when we foolishly punished troops as a proxy for a war many did not support. Today most Americans support the troops despite what they personally feel about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, with such a small percentage of the population serving, many Americans have no contact with military members or their families. While they want to be supportive, many don’t understand what they can do to help.
Netroots for the Troops is a great way for everyday Americans to make a difference and do our small part to contribute to the effort to serve the men and women who serve us on a daily basis.
lt's my personal opinion that all of us should serve our nation in some way. For those who want to give back to our troops, there are so many things we can do. It starts with President Obama who has given the Department of Veterans Affairs the largest budget increase in 30 years and continues to make sure that America keeps her covenant with her military men and women.
In the business community, employers have the opportunity to hire Veterans--not just because they want to help members of the military but because these men and women make the very best and most dedicated employees. Veterans have already demonstrated the ability to perform under the most extreme of pressures. Here in IL, I’m proud to have been part of first-in-the-nation legislation that provides tax credits to employers who hire Vets.
In our community, we can also find ways to make a difference. We must support military families, especially those whose loved ones are deployed. Organizations like Netroots for the Troops help us pool our resources to support our military men and women. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to their efforts.
Netroots For The Troops
Netroots For The Troops® is raising funds to send Care Packages to our soldiers stationed overseas.
You can donate here and then TexDem will use this money to buy the thank you gifts to be assembled by volunteers at Netroots Nation next month.
Over the years, many soldiers have sent letters to express their appreciation for these Care Packages and even posted thanks at Daily Kos:
It was in the middle six months of my assignment in Afghanistan that the packages started arriving. I received an array of things from them… letters, candy, toothpaste, floss, baby wipes, razors, food, socks, books, dvd’s. The list could go on and on. It was amazing. Netroots for the Troops was always there... The packages were a reminder that our country knows about our fight. Every day, because of their support, I knew that if it was going to be my last day, I would be remembered and I would be honored.
Please make a donation HERE. Thank you from the entire 2012 NFTT Team.
Netroots For The Troops®_ is a project of Netroots for the Troops, Inc., a Virginia non-profit corporation. The organization raises money for the assembly, mailing and delivery of Care Packages to American military in war zones and to provide assistance to military families in the United States. Netroots For The Troops, Inc. is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.