Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D) represents Illinois’ 8th district and is an Iraq war veteran. Her impressive biography includes:
In 2004, Duckworth was deployed to Iraq as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot for the Illinois Army National Guard. She was one of the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom until her helicopter was hit by an RPG on November 12, 2004. Duckworth lost her legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion and was awarded a Purple Heart for her combat injuries.
Duckworth spent the next year recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. As one of the highest-ranking patients, she quickly became an advocate for her fellow Soldiers and testified before Congress about caring for our Veterans and wounded warriors.
The witness, Braulio Castillo, CEO of Strong Castle, was before the House Oversight and Government Reform committee for allegedly claiming veteran disability status as a means to gain an advantage in contracting bids for the IRS.
reported a foot injury he sustained in 1984 at the U.S Military Academy Preparatory School, according to a report released by the committee. He was honorably discharged in his first year at the school, and later went on to play football at the University of San Diego as quarterback and linebacker.
Seeking to acquire a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business credential–designed by the Small Business Administration to help veterans apply for federal contracts–he listed his injury as his qualification. After reporting ongoing pain and treatment for his foot, Castillo was granted a 30% disability rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs, with the highest rating for injuries below the knee being 40%.
You have to admire how calculating Rep. Duckworth was during this line of questioning. I don’t think I could have been nearly as calm.