Day after daughter's birth, Sen. Tammy Duckworth calls family best part of her 'second life'

  • FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., speaks on Capitol Hill, in Washington. Duckworth has given birth to a baby girl, making her the first U.S. senator to give birth while in office. The Illinois Democrat announced she delivered her second daughter, Maile Pearl Bowlsbey, on Monday, April 9, 2018.

    FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., speaks on Capitol Hill, in Washington. Duckworth has given birth to a baby girl, making her the first U.S. senator to give birth while in office. The Illinois Democrat announced she delivered her second daughter, Maile Pearl Bowlsbey, on Monday, April 9, 2018.

 
Daily Herald staff report
Updated 4/10/2018 2:32 PM

A day after giving birth to her second daughter, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates released a video of herself reading a letter of perseverance to her younger self.

"Dear Tammy," it says, "I know you're busy focusing on acing that test or winning that next track medal, but I want you to take a step back."

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In the video, released on "CBS This Morning," Duckworth reflects on childhood struggles with near-homelessness, her military career and the abrupt end of that life when the Army helicopter she was piloting was forced down in Iraq in an enemy attack in which Duckworth lost both legs. She tears up as she describes how her fellow soldiers saved her life by their "grit, sacrifice and outright heroism."

She speaks of fellow Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Springfield, who encouraged her to enter politics, her loss in her first run for Congress, and the redemption of serving in the House and Senate and having two children with her husband Bryan Bowlsbey: Abigail, born in 2014 and shown in the video, and Maile Pearl, the first baby born to a senator in office.

"The best part of your second life," she tells her younger self, "will be you finally getting to have the family you've always wanted."

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