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Every Day Is a Gift: A Memoir

by Tammy Duckworth

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816336,005 (4.15)2
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!  Learn the incredible story of Illinois senator and Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth and see what inspired her to follow the path that made her who she is today. In Every Day Is a Gift, Tammy Duckworth takes readers through the amazing--and amazingly true--stories from her incomparable life. In November of 2004, an Iraqi RPG blew through the cockpit of Tammy Duckworth's U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter. The explosion, which destroyed her legs and mangled her right arm, was a turning point in her life. But as Duckworth shows in Every Day Is a Gift, that moment was just one in a lifetime of extraordinary turns. The biracial daughter of an American father and a Thai-Chinese mother, Duckworth faced discrimination, poverty, and the horrors of war--all before the age of 16. As a child, she dodged bullets as her family fled war-torn Phnom Penh. As a teenager, she sold roses by the side of the road to save her family from hunger and homelessness in Hawaii. Through these experiences, she developed a fierce resilience that would prove invaluable in the years to come. Duckworth joined the Army, becoming one of a handful of female helicopter pilots at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She served eight months in Iraq before an insurgent's RPG shot down her helicopter, an attack that took her legs--and nearly took her life. She then spent thirteen months recovering at Walter Reed, learning to walk again on prosthetic legs and planning her return to the cockpit. But Duckworth found a new mission after meeting her state's senators, Barack Obama and Dick Durbin. After winning two terms as a U.S. Representative, she won election to the U.S. Senate in 2016. And she and her husband Bryan fulfilled another dream when she gave birth to two daughters, becoming the first sitting senator to give birth. From childhood to motherhood and beyond, Every Day Is a Gift is the remarkable story of one of America's most dedicated public servants.… (more)
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(13) Whoa. What an amazing person! I remember a bit about her from 'babygate' and the ridiculous Republicans not wanting a woman to bring a nursing child to the Senate. I guess I knew she was an amputee but, my God, what she did with her life. Arriving in Hawaii at age 16 with an unemployed fairly inadequate father and little brother and essentially supporting the family, living on free school lunches, and making it to college and beyond is pretty incredible. But then her narration of the shootdown and her recovery was gripping. Her mental, emotional, and physical courage is breathtaking.

Well, I would vote for her for president. I hope she is doing good things in the Senate and finding a way to continue making a difference. Her writing is straightforward, but impactful. 5 stars if I were just rating on admiration of the author. I loved her feistiness with her political opponents. Especially saying she would crawl out of her wheelchair by the press box with her baby in her teeth to go vote in the Senate. Would the Senate like those optics instead of a baby on her chest? I loved how she talked about keeping her miscarriage and D&C a secret and just continuing to do hard things like nothing was going on. Because she had to to move forward... and moving forward is what she has always done. Yup. It is so simple and I can relate to that strength and ability to compartmentalize. I have realized that it is a more rare ability and even people who seem strong can be down for the count when things don't go their way.

Anyway, Thank-you Senator Duckworth. You are inspirational. And for sure, work-life balance is a lie. But what you are role-modeling for your daughters is priceless. ( )
  jhowell | Mar 13, 2023 |
A memoir by Senator Tammy Duckworth who’s fighting for and giving a voice to women, moms, our veterans and so many who often feel unheard.
  BLTSbraille | Aug 23, 2022 |
5770. Every Day Is a Gift A Memoir, by Senator Tammy Duckworth (read 16 Dec 2021) This is an account of the Senator's life, telling of her birth in Bangkok, Thailand on 12 March 1968, her coming to Hawaii at 16, her service in the Iraq war, her horrendous wounds suffered when the helicopter she was in was shot down on 12 March 2004, and her subsequent election to the House twice, her election in 2016 to the Senate. and the birth of her two children, the second born after she turned 50. It is an amazing life, filled with drama, and illustrative of her patriotism and determination. I was continually impressed and overwhelmed by the telling. It is the best book of its kind I have ever read and will live in my memory all the rest of my life. ( )
  Schmerguls | Dec 16, 2021 |
between 2.5 and 3 stars. i was glad that duckworth is the reader on the audio of this, even though she's not a particularly adept reader (or writer). but i really feel like i have an understanding of this pretty incredible woman, one that i wouldn't have if someone else had read it. her story is pretty amazing and inspiring, and i enjoyed learning more about her and her life. the writing is serviceable, nothing special, nothing bad. she made me chuckle and tear up, and although i hate hate hate the title, i do believe she genuinely means it. (it feels very christian to me, but actually there wasn't religion in this book, except the buddhism of her mother and a catholic nurse who wouldn't discuss medical procedures with her.) we heard about her growing up all over the world, her family, her army service and her terrible injury, her getting into politics, and her husband and daughters. it's a well rounded autobiography, if not filled with life lessons for the reader. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Jul 13, 2021 |
What a remarkable woman! What a life! ( )
  gbelik | Jun 28, 2021 |
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AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!  Learn the incredible story of Illinois senator and Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth and see what inspired her to follow the path that made her who she is today. In Every Day Is a Gift, Tammy Duckworth takes readers through the amazing--and amazingly true--stories from her incomparable life. In November of 2004, an Iraqi RPG blew through the cockpit of Tammy Duckworth's U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter. The explosion, which destroyed her legs and mangled her right arm, was a turning point in her life. But as Duckworth shows in Every Day Is a Gift, that moment was just one in a lifetime of extraordinary turns. The biracial daughter of an American father and a Thai-Chinese mother, Duckworth faced discrimination, poverty, and the horrors of war--all before the age of 16. As a child, she dodged bullets as her family fled war-torn Phnom Penh. As a teenager, she sold roses by the side of the road to save her family from hunger and homelessness in Hawaii. Through these experiences, she developed a fierce resilience that would prove invaluable in the years to come. Duckworth joined the Army, becoming one of a handful of female helicopter pilots at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She served eight months in Iraq before an insurgent's RPG shot down her helicopter, an attack that took her legs--and nearly took her life. She then spent thirteen months recovering at Walter Reed, learning to walk again on prosthetic legs and planning her return to the cockpit. But Duckworth found a new mission after meeting her state's senators, Barack Obama and Dick Durbin. After winning two terms as a U.S. Representative, she won election to the U.S. Senate in 2016. And she and her husband Bryan fulfilled another dream when she gave birth to two daughters, becoming the first sitting senator to give birth. From childhood to motherhood and beyond, Every Day Is a Gift is the remarkable story of one of America's most dedicated public servants.

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