ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. — The lunchtime crowd is thinning at Portillo's Hot Dogs near O'Hare Airport when the candidate arrives. Leaning on a cane, she moves slowly on her $120,000 bionic legs with a stooped and halting stride. Tammy Duckworth lost both legs while serving in Iraq. After more than a year in rehab, she's campaigning for Congress.
By Tim Dillon, USA TODAY
"Hi! I'm Tammy Duckworth, the Iraq war veteran running for Congress. You might have heard of me?" she says, extending her mangled right arm to shake hands.
Indeed, many here in Chicago's western suburbs have already heard of the Illinois National Guard helicopter pilot who lost both legs and full use of her right arm when a rocket-propelled grenade hit her Blackhawk in a 2004 attack in Iraq.
Maj. Ladda "Tammy" Duckworth, 37, spent nearly a year at Washington's Walter Reed Army Hospital, and her rehabilitation has been chronicled in national media, including USA TODAY.