Tammy Duckworth Rips 'Disabled' Vet: 'Shame on You'

Amputee congresswoman angry over breaks given to business for prep school injury

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 27, 2013 9:41 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Lost amid the Supreme Court news of yesterday was an epic takedown on Capitol Hill covered by the Military Times and spotted by Gawker. It happened when Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who lost both her legs and the use of one arm flying a helicopter in Iraq, grilled IRS contractor Braulio Castillo. He owns a tech business that gets federal breaks because it's certified as a "service-disabled, veteran-owned" company. His injury? He broke his foot at a military prep school in 1984. (He went on to play college football.)

Duckworth read from a letter in which Castillo wrote to the VA to get special contracts: "These are crosses that I bear due to my service to our great country and I would do it again to protect this great country." Then she responded:

  • “I’m so glad that you would be willing to play football in prep school again to protect this great country. Shame on you, Mr. Castillo. Shame on you. You may not have broken any laws … but you certainly broke the trust of this great nation. You broke the trust of veterans.”
  • "It is because cases like you have poisoned the public's opinions on these programs. I hope you think twice about what you are doing to this nation's veterans, who are willing to die to protect this nation. Twisting your ankle in prep school is not defending or serving this nation." Duckworth then apologized for going over her time limit to committee chair Darrell Issa, who called it "time well spent."

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