June 25 — Women With Wings at Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul IL with keynote speaker Maj. L. Tammy Duckworth

Each year, the WAI organization solicits nominations from throughout the aviation industry for the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame. Chicago’s Leading Edge Chapter nominated Maj. L. Tammy Duckworth.

Women in Aviation member L. Tammy Duckworth serves as the Department of Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. As Assistant Secretary, Duckworth advises the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on matters relating to media and public affairs. Duckworth served as the Director of Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs from 2006-2008. A Major in the Illinois Army National Guard, Duckworth served in Iraq as an Assistant Operations Officer and also flew combat missions as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. 

During a mission north of Baghdad in 2004, a rocket-propelled grenade struck the helicopter she was co-piloting. As a result of the attack, Duckworth lost both of her legs and partial use of one arm. She received many decorations for her actions, including the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. In 2008 and 2009, she completed the Chicago Marathon, fulfilling a promise made at Walter Reed. She has also resumed flying as a civilian pilot.

The Women in Aviation, International Pioneer Hall of Fame was established in 1992 to honor women who have made significant contributions as record setters, pioneers, or innovators. Special consideration is given to individuals or groups who have helped other women be successful in aviation or opened doors of opportunity for other women.

A special induction ceremony was held at the 22nd Annual International Women in Aviation Conference  February 26, 2011, Grand Sierra Resort, Reno, Nevada.

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