Rep. Duckworth on Pentagon lifting ban on women in combat
IL lawmaker and Iraq veteran speaks out
- Duration 3:24
- Date Jan 24, 2013
IL lawmaker and Iraq veteran speaks out
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Let's bring in Tammy Duckworth now an Iraq War veteran and Illinois congresswoman now.
The congressman lost her legs when a rocket propelled grenade hit -- helicopter in Iraq back in 2004.
She was the first woman injured in combat to a national office -- thank you.
Think he was so great to be here certain what and how you feel about this.
I think it's fantastic I think that our military and our nation has always benefited when we -- it just.
These restrictions and allow people to -- based on performance.
What would you mind filling our viewers in on your story.
Sure so I actually have one -- served in the only combat toppled into women which is good to be a pilot.
-- -- -- -- Co piloting a Blackhawk helicopter in Baghdad during the second battle for Fallujah when we were hit by an RPG.
It ripped through our aircraft that took off my legs most of my right arm.
-- the pilot in command chief -- but was able to land the aircraft.
Com and then a week that we you know I was carried off the battlefield on the last thing.
I did in Iraq was tried to get report on the condition of my men in the hospital and then they put me under an idea.
Recovered and then you know have been able to enter elect a service as an advocate for veterans and.
How much has your experience in war and in the military in general helped you with the work that you do serving the public now.
And it has really killed me as an officer as a person as a leader.
You know the skills and the confidence I gain in the military are the same -- skills and confidence I use every day here in the halls of congress.
And being in the military was what the one of the few places in this nation where woman gets equal pay for equal work he's a female second lieutenant get the same pay as a male second lieutenant.
-- and I'd like to bring that to the rest of our country.
But -- this restriction is not going to allow those women who want to fight and combat positions to try and to try out for -- and -- they can make it good for them.
There's a lot of woman who won't make it but you know what there's a lot of men who can't make it either you.
You -- and that got them.
-- the one constant that seem to be hearing from the critics of this is.
Well if they won't qualify and then they'll change the standards they'll make it a little easier for women if it is that a concern -- viewers.
Not at all they can't change a standard there have to come back to congress as they asked to.
Keep some of the combat jobs close to women -- will be keeping an eye on it.
It needs to be performance based that they're probably -- critics have always been naysayers anytime the military tries to do this.
There -- folks who said on that African Americans to not have the mental capacity to.
Operate complex machinery and try to keep them from flying aircraft during world war two and yet look at what the Tuskegee airmen were able to do there -- folks -- -- Japanese Americans were too small in stature to be effective fighters.
And yet look at what.
-- 442 regimental combat team did in World War II.
And you know people said that opening up service to gays in the military by ending Don't Ask Don't Tell would just destroy unit morale -- it hasn't happened.
Let -- men and women serve give them the chance and trust and their professionalism.
I trust them.
Do you think when today's kids are old enough to sort of thinking about serving the nation that they'll look up at their mommies and daddies and say.
You mean they didn't let women in just because -- women not because they couldn't pass the test.
I think that someday that will happen and I hope they come sooner than later and the congressman Duckworth it's great to see you thank you so much for your service then and now.
Thank you all right.