Senator Duckworth sees positive trends in Thailand

Thai-American Senator and decorated war veteran Tammy Duckworth said there is more certainty in the country and people’s passion for participation bodes well for the future.

“What I see is people are ready to move forward,” Duckworth said during her recent visit to Thailand.

“More importantly, I see a Thai population that is very passionate about politics. I think that says a lot about the future of this great nation,” she added, acknowledging that some Thai citizens want faster change.

“I want to give you a very Thai answer, which is jai yen yen kha,” the Senator said, using a phrase that literally means “heart cool cool” but translates to “be patient” or “keep calm.”

While in Bangkok last week, Senator Duckworth met with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha and House Speaker Chuan Leekpai along with other government officials.

It was her first trip to the Kingdom since being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2017. She visited Thailand four years ago when she was a member of the House of Representatives. Her family hails from the northern province of Chiang Mai, and she spent part of her trip visiting family there.

“My Thai heritage is very important to my performance as a public servant. Because my international background helps me have a greater appreciation of America’s role in the world,” she said.

Senator Duckworth was invited to visit Thailand by the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, Thailand’s equivalent of West Point.

She serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Commerce Committee. She served as a former Army Lieutenant Colonel who piloted a helicopter in combat during the Iraq War, during which she suffered severe wounds.

She is also the first Senator to have a baby while serving in office.

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