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This Nov. 15, 2012 file photo shows Iraq war veteran, Rep.-elect Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who lost both legs in combat before turning to politics, arriving for a group photo on the East steps of the Capitol in Washington. Veterans groups say the influx of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in Congress is welcome because it comes at a time when the overall number of veterans in Congress is on a steep and steady decline. In the mid-1970s, the vast majority of lawmakers tended to be veterans.

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9 more Iraq, Afghan war veterans joining Congress

As Tammy Duckworth sees it, her path to Congress began when she awoke in the fall of 2004 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She was missing both of her legs and faced the prospect of losing her right arm.

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