Image: Tammy Duckworth
M. Spencer Green  /  AP
Assistant Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Tammy Duckworth wa a helicopter pilot in Iraq who lost both her legs and partial use of one arm in a rocket-propelled grenade attack.
updated 2/3/2009 11:49:41 AM ET 2009-02-03T16:49:41

Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs director, was nominated by President Barack Obama on Tuesday to serve as an assistant secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Duckworth was a helicopter pilot in Iraq who lost both her legs and partial use of one arm in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in 2004. She ran for Congress in 2006, but lost.

As assistant secretary of public and intergovernmental affairs, her duties would include directing VA's public affairs operations, as well as programs for homeless veterans.

In a statement released by the White House, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said communicating with veterans was a key part of improving services at the VA.

"Tammy Duckworth brings significant talent, leadership and personal experience to this important work," Shinseki said.

Duckworth was a major in the Illinois National Guard. She was appointed director of the Illinois veterans' agency in 2006.

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