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Watch Congresswoman Duckworth, Double Amputee, Tear Into Contractor Over Veterans Claim [Video]

Duckworth, Double Amputee Veteran, Rips Open Contractor On VA Claim

Wednesday Representative Tammy Duckworth, a veteran of the Iraq War and double amputee, tore into a federal contractor with a questionable veterans disability claim.

Her inquiry came during a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in which she questioned Braulio Castillo who was seeking disabled veteran status for an ankle injury suffered at prep school.

Reading from Castillo’s letter written to Veteran’s Affairs, Illinois Representative Duckworth quoted Castillo’s claim letter which asserted that his pain was constant and crippling.

She followed by simply asking, “Does your foot hurt?”

Castillo confirmed it did to which Duckworth replied that her “feet hurt too.”

With a controlled but visible anger, Duckworth explained the depth of her virtually constant pain, describing a daily sensation she likened to a nail being hammered into her heel.

The chronic pain came after, as she explained in detail, the loss of her two legs and almost the loss of one of her arms, which she suffered on a battlefield from combat.

Citing the Castillo’s claim that stated he had a pain rating of 30 percent, she said, even given her condition was rated at 20 percent.

Castillo could not recall the specific incident in which he injured his ankle in school but said he suffered daily pain that he would gladly suffer again “to protect this great country.”

Clearly not convinced Tammy Duckworth bitterly remarked:

“I’m so glad that you would be willing to play football at 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 have broken the trust of this great nation.”

Castillo is CEO of Strong Castle Inc., and his claim is based on a desire to get tax exemptions granted to veteran-owned businesses. CBS News reports that Castillo currently receives a monthly check from the VA.

Don’t just read about it, though. The slam Duckworth delivers is fully worth the eight minutes as the representative levels Castillo with a brutal barrage. Skip to 4:30 though, if you want to see the best of it.

What do you think, is Representative Duckworth being fair in charging Mr. Castillo with taking advantage of the VA? Share your thoughts!

[Image via DOD / Wikimedia Commons]

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3 Responses to “Watch Congresswoman Duckworth, Double Amputee, Tear Into Contractor Over Veterans Claim [Video]”

  1. Albert Renteria

    I have one question, was the injury in question during a period of active service and determined to be in the line of duty definition or was the injury in question prior to active duty? Any type of injury during an active duty period and determined to be during the definition of line of duty is a service connected injury. The video does not provide sufficient details to determine if the claim is legitimate. However, if the VA approved the claim, I am suspect that the injury was not pre-service and in fact during an active duty period and determine to be in the line of duty. I would be concern if the video is perceived that only war injuries meet the service connected rating. The VA determines all active service members as a whole person equaling 100% whole. Any service connected injury while active and not due to a misconduct finding is a line of duty determination and such injury is rated 0% to 100%. I would enjoy the facts so I can better offer my thoughts. Shame on him, if is rating is not as it should and good on him if it is and I would encourage the many Veterans that don't claim their rating, because they too believe if it is not a war injury, they don't deserve any rating. I am a Veteran advocate and the founder of http://www.WhereCommunitiesServeVeterans.org and I encourage all Veterans to seek their earned benefits and disability rating.