MILWAUKEE—Below are Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth’s full remarks as prepared for delivery from night four of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
The Honorable Tammy Duckworth
United States Senator from Illinois
Democratic National Convention
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Hello everyone. I’m Senator Tammy Duckworth.

When I hear LaKeisha’s story—when I hear her talk of the fear that comes with loving someone serving in a war zone, I can’t help but think of my husband, Bryan.

At the last convention, I told the story of the day I almost died in 2004, when an RPG tore through the Black Hawk I was flying over Iraq—the story of how my buddies risked their lives to save mine.

But there’s another story of that day—Bryan’s. When I was wounded, he rushed to Walter Reed. When I woke up, he held my hand and helped me through the excruciating pain. He was my anchor as I relearned to walk, helping me through every step, every stumble.

You see, military service doesn’t just take courage and sacrifice from those in uniform—they’re required from their families, too.

Joe Biden understands those sacrifices, because he has made them himself. When his son Beau enlisted in the Army and deployed to Iraq, that burden was shouldered by his family as well. Joe understands the pain I felt when it was Bryan’s turn to be deployed.

He knows the fear military families live with because he’s felt that dread of never knowing if your loved one is safe.

He understands their bravery because he had to muster that same strength every hour of every day Beau was overseas.

That’s the kind of leader our service members deserve: a leader who would actually honor their sacrifices. But they don’t have that in our current commander in chief, who’s either unwilling or incapable of doing so.

I can’t stop thinking about the Gold Star parents I spoke with recently who were desperate to know whether their child was killed because Vladimir Putin placed a bounty on their life.

It tore me up that, even after I asked for an investigation, I still couldn’t reassure them that Donald Trump cared enough to try to get them an answer—that 55 days after Putin’s reported bounty scheme became public, Trump still hasn’t publicly condemned Russia—or explained how he’s protecting our servicemembers.

Somehow, Donald Trump still doesn’t get that America should stand up for what’s right—stand tall for our troops—and stand strong against our enemies. But unlike Trump, Joe understands all of that.

As president, Joe Biden would never let tyrants manipulate him like a puppet on a string.

Joe Biden would never threaten to use our military against peaceful Americans.

Because unlike Trump, Joe Biden has common sense and common decency.

Donald Trump doesn’t deserve to call himself commander in chief for another four minutes—let alone another four years.

Our country deserves better. If you agree, text MORE to 30330 to elect Joe: a leader who actually cares enough about America to lead.

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