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U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) tonight received Voices for National Service’s Outstanding National Service Advocacy Award in recognition of her lifetime commitment to public service and her efforts to promote and expand national community service opportunities to all young people wishing to give back to their communities.
“Serving my community and my country has always been a driving force in my life and I believe all Americans deserve the opportunity to give back to their country—in or out of uniform,” said Duckworth in a statement to West Suburban Journal.
“Just as picking up a gun to defend our country is ‘American Service,’ so is picking up a soup spoon to feed the less fortunate, a stick of chalk to reach low-income children or a hammer to rebuild homes for those devastated by natural disasters.
I am honored and humbled to receive the Outstanding National Service Advocacy Award, and I look forward to working with organizations like Voices for National Service to ensure more Americans have the opportunity to serve their communities and their country.”
Duckworth is a champion for civilian national service and an avid volunteer. She served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years and continued to serve her fellow Veterans as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and then as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Throughout her career, she has also made a point of volunteering with community partners at local schools, food pantries and community centers. Last year, she introduced the 21st Century American Service Act to increase service positions available through civilian national service organizations and ensure all young Americans are informed of the opportunities available to them. She plans to continue working to expand service opportunities for young Americans across the country in the Senate.
“As a distinguished public servant and military veteran, Senator Duckworth believes in the power of service to unite Americans in a cause greater than self,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President, Voices for National Service. “Senator Duckworth has transformed this belief into action and become a vocal advocate for the expansion of service opportunities across the country. As a member of the House of Representatives, she developed legislation to inform young Americans about service opportunities and enhance educational benefits for those who serve. Now as a member of the U.S. Senate, we look forward to working with Tammy Duckworth to advance the national service movement and are proud to honor her with the Outstanding National Service Advocacy Award.”
Voices for National Service is a coalition of local, national and other civilian national service programs and champions that works to ensure Americans of any age or backgrounds have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community. Previous recipients of the Outstanding National Service Advocacy Award include Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) as well Congressmen David Price (D-NC) and Tom Cole (R-OK) and New York Times journalist David Brooks.