I have been a follower of Senator Duckworth's career since she pushed for the historic movement of allowing infants under the age of one on the Senate floor so she could continue her work as a senator for Illinois. So I was excited to read her memoir.
She writes with such forthrightness about the difficulties and challenges she's faced in her lifetime, and how those experiences have shaped the woman she is now. Her experiences as a soldier, and as the daughter of a veteran were stark, and she is frank about how she uses those experiences to push her support for veterans in our country.
Her writing style is very personable, and feels like sitting down to catch up with an old friend as she discusses the difficulties in dealing with her injuries after her helicopter was shot down, but also cracks jokes about leaving her legs lying around the floor of her home.
Reading this only made me support her more, and I cannot wait to see what she continues to do in her political career.
Thanks to Twelve Books and NetGalley for this reader review copy.
This book is Tammy Duckworth’s story of her childhood, military service, marriage, motherhood, and journey to government leadership. Before reading this book, I only knew that she’s a democrat. Now, I also know that she is a resilient, hard-working woman and a daughter, soldier, wife, and mother.
I enjoyed reading this book. I skimmed some parts, but overall, it flows well and is written in an engaging way. She also is careful not to diss anyone but tell facts in a candid but compassionate way.
I really appreciate her list of folks who visited Walter Reed and really cared about the patients, including Gary Sinise, Adam Sandler, Orange County Choppers, former senator Bob Dole, and Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz. These folks visited repeatedly, offered support, and never made the visits about themselves.
Also, I didn’t know how much of a positive impact she’s made on women and veteran rights.
My favorite quotes:
“Own your suck. Kick its ass! Otherwise, it owns you.”
About the 80 percent solution: “As Army leaders, we were trained to recognize that the 100 percent solution— absolute perfection— isn’t realistic, so the 80 percent solution was our goal: Get most things right, and get your butt moving to accomplish the mission. If you have 80 percent handled and a well-trained team, you’ll be able to deal with whatever contingencies arise. But if you spend all your time planning to create the 100 percent perfect solution, the troops won’t have time to prepare, train, and actually execute the mission.” I will use this in my daily life.
Note: this book includes some profanity.
Tammy Duckworth's story is not about being an army soldier or a senator. She's lived her life on so many occasions. Growing up with a mother who’s grown up as a child laborer and a father who’s have to go from job to job in a foreign country while Tammy and her brother growing up.
As an adult she has to live through living as a double amputee in Iraq while serving in the army. She became a senator after recovering from her injuries.
The book tells so much about Tammy's life, including growing up, her injuries and recovery, being a senator and trying to have children after the age of forty.
The memoir is an excellent read.
Thank you so much for allowing me to read this advanced copy of Senator Tammy Duckworth's book. This book was absolutely amazing and I agree with Senator Duckworth, everyday is a gift. Her memoir took me on a ride of emotions from childhood, to army service, the shoot down, and the campaign trail. I l felt like I had a conversation with a real person rather than reading her life story. It was detailed enough that it was not overwhelming, but that I could understand the camaraderie and what it means to be a soldier. Thank you Senator Duckworth for your continued service to our country. You are truly the epitome off the soldier's creed.
I thought that this memoir would have a lot to do with her political career and was pleasantly surprised when reading that it was not. Senator Duckworth is a forced to be reckoned with and a true inspiration!
*I do not rate memoirs with a star rating, because it feels weird to assign someone’s life story a star rating. I am only giving it a star rating, because NetGalley requires it.
Duckworth recounts her incredible life from childhood to her current position as junior US Senator from Illinois. She has struggled with discrimination as a biracial Thai-American, with poverty from her childhood, with sexism as she joined the Army, with disabilities after an RPG shot down her helicopter leading to the loss of her legs and with infertility and the book shows how those experiences has made her an advocate for those affected as a public servant.
Being a constituent of Tammy, I was very excited to read her book. She is such a strong and powerful woman. Hearing her story in her own words was inspiring. I’m proud to look up to her as a role model and can’t wait to see what other policies for change she creates
I have long admired Senator Duckworth for her leadership, service, and her graceful compassion blended with strength and clarity of vision. I am grateful to have had this chance to learn more about her, to hear her voice and experiences, and to particularly consider themes on disability, being former military, and also a woman leader and mother and spouse in this current world which often demands too much of women. Her optimism in the face of hardship and her continued service following a traumatic experience in Iraq should be talked about if not more then at least more often considered as we look to how women from diverse backgrounds continue to be the hidden backbone to our country. I remain humbled to think about her intentional effort and service and her desire to give via public service and to lead via example.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth is amazing and her memoir is extremely moving. Readers will learn all about her life from early childhood to moving to America to getting married. A great deal of time is spent on her recovery from being shot down in Iraq and her subsequent survival. Sen. Duckworth should be touted as a role model for every young person who feels their life just isn’t fair. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to be an early reader in exchange for my review.
I am not American so I had no idea who Tammy Duckworth is but after reading this insipiring memoir I have a lot of respect for her.
Senator Tammy Duckworth is an inspiration. If you think you knew her story before reading this book - you don’t. Filled with new insights, this book will leave you in awe of this woman, and more determined to fight for the things that matter most.
I've watched and listened to Duckworth over the years, and I've always been quite impressed, so I was excited to read her book. It didn't disappoint. It just reinforced what an amazing, determined, and inspiring woman she is!
I am from Illinois and have always admired Tammy Duckworth. I did not know much of her back story until reading this book. What emerges is a portrait of hope and survival. Her positive fierceness helps her ride the ups and downs of life. She is a true hero who survived a helicopter shoot-down (she teaches us in this book why we should not call it a crash) as well as a childhood of poverty. She also faced infertility and a miscarriage. I too have faced these challenges and was excited to see she went to the same excellent fertility doctor I did.
Senator Duckworth is an advocate for people with disabilities, women, vets. Her story is inspiring and I recommend that others read this book not only to learn more about her incredible story but to also find solace and connection to all of us who face life challenges.
I highly recommend this book.
The first hand account of an an amazing life, and the woman who lived it. Who refuses to give up. Who is indeed a true hero.
Every Day Is a Gift
by Tammy Duckworth
Biographies & Memoirs
Pub Date 30 Mar 2021
I am reviewing a copy of Everyday Is A Gift through Twelve Books and Netgalley:
As 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 sixteen. As a girl, she dodged bullets as her family fled war-torn Phnom Penh. She sold roses by the side of the road to save her family from hunger and homelessness in Hawaii as a teenager.
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 RPG shot down her helicopter, an attack that took her legs—and nearly took her life. She 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.
Duckworth takes her readers through the amazing—
and amazingly true stories from her remarkable 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.
I give EveryDay is A Gift five out of five stars!
One thing a reader comes away with after reading Tammy Duckworth’s memoir is the realization that her determination and grit has been with her from the beginning. Born in Thailand to an American father and a Thai mother, she soon moved to Hawaii where she spent her childhood. Her first-hand experience with war was when she and her family ducked bullets in the Phnom Penh airport before taking the last commercial flight out of the city. She enrolled in the ROTC as a graduate student at George Washington University and became a helicopter pilot because that was as close to real warfare a woman could get….and then she found her determination and grit challenged into staying alive after nearly dying and losing both legs. But as we know that didn’t stop her and she’s now junior senator from Illinois.
Though politically we couldn't be more different and I disagreed with some of the policy and logic she wrote about in the book, her writing was great and her story is inspiring. Senator Duckworth's childhood was so interesting and you can tell that her strength and fortitude stems from those times. Her service is admirable and I greatly appreciate her sacrifices.
This book had me in tears so many times. Duckworth is a truly amazing woman that so many should read about. I enjoyed these stories and was engrossed in them. She has accomplished so much in her life and she has been through so much! I know this book has already been published, but I am so glad I was gifted this ARC to read. This is an amazing story of an amazing woman!
Thank you NetGalley for this book!