Duckworth nominated to VA post

Washington_Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs director, was nominated by President Barack Obama on Tuesday to serve as an assistant secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Duckworth was a helicopter pilot in Iraq who lost both her legs and partial use of one arm in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in 2004. She ran for Congress in 2006, but lost.

As assistant secretary of public and intergovernmental affairs, her duties would include directing VA's public affairs operations, as well as programs for homeless veterans.

In a statement released by the White House, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said communicating with veterans was a key part of improving services at the VA.

"Tammy Duckworth brings significant talent, leadership and personal experience to this important work," Shinseki said.

Duckworth was a major in the Illinois National Guard. She was appointed director of the Illinois veterans' agency in 2006.

Kimberly Hefling, AP Writer, Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.