U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) the keynote speaker at the 2013 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Veterans’ Day Observance, whose theme is “VALOR, COURAGE, SACRIFICE – HONORING ALL WHO SERVED,” in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, November 20, 2013. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth is an Iraq War Veteran and former Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs. In 2004, Duckworth was deployed to Iraq as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot for the Illinois Army National Guard. She was one of the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her Blackhawk helicopter was hit by an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) on November 12, 2004 resulting in Duckworth losing her legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion. She was awarded a Purple Heart for her combat injuries. Duckworth declined a military medical retirement and continues to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.