Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - NatalieOsborneSmith_TammyDuckworth_bodyethics
Character Study in Body Ethics
Natalie Osborne Smith
Concordia University - Portland: The Ethical Educator
What do Role Models Look
Role models:An Introduction
• Tammy Duckworth
• First female double amputee in the IraqWar, first disabled Congresswoman elected to House of Representatives (United
States GovernmentWorks, n.d.)
• Served as Assistant Secretary ofVeteran’s Affairs (United States Government Works, n.d.)
• Continues to drill as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard (United States GovernmentWorks, n.d.)
• Competed in multiple marathons, some of which raise money for Wounded Warriors (United States Government Works,
n.d.) and (Duckworth, 2010)
• Alex Rodriguez
• Professional baseball player now playing on the NewYorkYankees team (Major League Baseball, n.d.)
• Works extensively with Boys and Girls clubs in Miami, FL (Major League Baseball, n.d.)
• Has written children’s books, hosts children at sporting events (Major League Baseball, n.d.)
• Has been accused of using and trying to cover up his use of various performance-enhancing substances over multiple years
(CBS News, 2013)
• Offered Keynote to teens about “playing safe, fair and sober” (Davidoff, 2013)
• “I’m not about the pass up the second chance I’ve been given," Major Tammy Duckworth said
after surviving the explosion of a rocket propelled grenade on the helicopter she was flying in
Iraq on Nov. 12, 2004” (Trumbull, 2011). This statement illustrates Congresswoman Duckworth
sense of perseverance and resourcefulness in the midst of struggle. While continuing to serve in
the U.S. National Guard, Congresswoman Duckworth also strives to improveVeteran access to
housing, health care, and online communication with the Office ofVeteran Affairs. She is also
outspoken about preparing for the health needs of the young veterans returning from the Iraq
war, particularly as it pertains to their respiratory problems. Although she is a double amputee,
Congresswoman Duckworth also competed in multiple marathons, some of which helped raise
money for the Wounded Warriors.
• Alex Rodriguez provides a living example of the love of money, love of self, and love of the game.
He is an extreme example of the ways people will cheat in order to become or remain
successful - to win by any means possible. After signing a playing safe and sober contract with
teens in Baltimore, Rodriguez was accused of taking performance enhancing drugs. While Mr.
Rodriguez does honor children and young athletes, his ongoing struggle with the authorities in
Major League Baseball “calls into question yet again A-Rod’s judgement...” (Davidoff, 2013). Mr.
Rodriguez continues to fight the allegations that he “bought or used steroids in 2010, 2011, and
2012” (CBS News, 2013).
Showing True Grit
• Tammy Duckworth in her blog post to promote a Wounded
Warriors marathon stated,“With every step forward – both
literally and figuratively – you’re part of something bigger. I
encourage you to stay strong and keep putting one foot in front of
the other. You’ll be glad you did, and you’ll be better for it”
• Alex Rodriguez stated in an interview with ESPNNewYork.com
that “above all, I want to be a role model, continue to be a role
model...I'm not giving up...I have tremendous faith, and hopefully
there's a couple more chapters to this book.And hopefully there's a
happy ending somewhere. I have faith” (Begley, 2013).
True Grit Role model
Teens need shining examples of people who play fair and who pereservere through
struggle when life is not ideal. Congresswoman Duckworth provides children with
this example. Even after losing both legs and the use of one arm, Duckworth
continues to push her body while serving in National Guard and while competing in
marathons. More over, she did not let an electoral loss stop her from serving her
fellow citizens. She continued as Assistant Secretary ofVeteran Affairs and was later
elected to the 8th electoral district of her state. Those in the limelight, like
Duckworth, have an extra responsibility to serve as the ideal example of grit and
perserverance for others. Borgmann (2006) states that “we have to take
responsibility for this fact and ask whether it is a good life, a decent life or a
lamentable life that we have outlined for ourselves” (p. 6). I would say that it is our
also responsibility to ensure a good and decent life for others. Tammy Duckworth
does this; she serves her country and her electorate by example and deed.
Begley, I. (2013, July 31). A-RodWants to be a Role Model. Retrieved from http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/9522777/alex-
Borgmann,A. (2006). Real American Ethics:Taking responsibility for our country. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
CBS News. (2013,August 5). Alex Rodriguez Hit with Drug Suspension through 2014 as MLB Drops Hammer. Retrieved from http://
Davidoff, K. (2013, June 10). Yankee’s A-Rod Signed Anti-Drugs Pledge in front of 500 Students in 2009. Retrieved from http://
Duckworth,T. (2010, July 8). On the Run. Retrieved from http://www.operationhomefront.wordpress.com/tag/tammy-duckworth/
Major League Baseball. (n.d.). Biography. Retrieved from http://www.mlb.mlb.com/players/alex_rodriguez/bio/index.jsp
O’Toole, M. (2013, March 18). Tammy Duckworth, IraqWarVeteran and Congresswoman, Reflects on 10th Anniversary of Conflict.
Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/18/tammy-duckworth-iraq-war-anniversary_n_2897663.html
Trumbull, M. (2011, January 22). Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 5 other Profiles in Perseverance. Retrieved from http://www.csmonitor.com/
United States Government Works. (n.d.). Biography. Retrieved from http://duckworth.house.gov.