The daughter of an American soldier and an Asian mom grew up all over Southeast Asia.
Her father worked for the UN and the Marines.
Even though we had just lost a war there, Americans were revered because of our involvement in the Peace Corps.
The United States was seen as a partner who could be trusted for equal treatment and fairness by the country.
The spirit and values were represented by Duckworth.
She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., intending to head for the Foreign Service, but she was persuaded to take a ROTC class or two, where she studied with members of the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
She had a degree in political science from when she was a Member of Congress.
She was deployed to Iraq in the middle of writing her thesis.
She went to Walter Reed hospital when she came home.
Life is odd.
As the highest ranking amputee at Walter Reed, Duckworth was already taking a leadership position among her fellow wounded warriors.
The Senator from Illinois was impressed by what he saw.
She was invited to one of the State of the Union addresses by the President and he realized she was tougher than he had thought.
Although she lost her first congressional campaign, she got to know a young senator from Illinois, Barack Obama.
She ran the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs before going to work for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
She ran for Congress again a few years later, won, and ended up in the Senate, where she made a significant impact as a strong advocate for her fellow veterans.
One of the main issues she is focused on and one that comes straight from her life experience is the creation of a national community service program that she hopes will get to the floor for a vote soon.
Americans from all walks of life serve in non-mandatory capacities.
Every person would receive a letter in the mail when they turned 18.
Under current law, serving in the armed forces gets you four years of college, but Duckworth wants to show young people that there are multiple ways to show commitment to the country, from Teach for America to AmeriCorps, to opportunities not yet invented--from the national to the local level.
If you don't opt out, a letter will be sent every two years until you are thirty, to see if your life has changed in a way that makes service feasible and attractive.
African Americans are not the only Americans who have had their civil rights denied.
Native Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans have all been discriminated against.
The struggles of these groups have taken shape in different ways because of the different political resources available to them.
The New World was shared by Native Americans for centuries before it was discovered by Europeans.
The Europeans' failure to understand the Indians' cultural, spiritual, and political heritage has complicated the relationship between the Europeans and the Native Americans.
The political, social, and economic experiences of Native Americans are still affected by the centuries-old conflicts.
The status of Native American tribes in American politics and constitutional law is complicated.
The Indians saw themselves as independent nations and as being able to deal with the early Americans from a position of strength and equality.
The United States has not consistently recognized sovereignty.
The U.S. perception of Indian tribes was underscored by Chief Justice John Marshall.
Marshall declared that the Indian tribes were "domestic dependent nations" after denying the Cherokees the right to challenge a Georgia law in the Supreme Court.
Congress made treaties with the tribes to buy their land and relocate them, even after 1871.
The commerce clause was seen as giving Congress control over Indian affairs regardless of the treaties.
Most of the tribes were forced to move from their traditional lands to western territories where their hunting and farming traditions were not effective, leaving them dependent on federal aid.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs was created in 1824 as part of the Department of War, and the central issues became what the federal government would be and how much self-government the Indians.
The combination of these two strategies has resulted in tremendous social and economic dislocation in the Indian communities.
Poverty, joblessness, and alcoholism have built communities of despair for many Native Americans.
Congress has denied them many of the rights promised in their treaties in order to exploit the natural resources so abundant in the western lands they have been forced onto, or as they have been forced to sell rights to those resources in order to survive.
The political environment in which Native Americans found themselves in the mid-twentieth century was very different from the one faced by African Americans.
Indians' civil rights and their enforcement, as well as the fulfillment of old promises and the preservation of a culture that did not easily coexist with modern American economic and political beliefs and practice, were at stake.
haggling over mining and fishing rights seems to be the ultimate disrespect for cultures that emphasized the spirituality of living in harmony with lands that can't really be long.
The same government they depended on to keep poverty at bay was the one they rejected in their quest for self-determination.
Fry-bread federalism is a term used to describe a relationship between the national government and Native American tribes.
American Indians are citizens of both the United States and the tribes, with rights coming from each.
It was not clear what strategy the Native Americans should follow.