Thank You Ma'am

I have just finished watching a cracking exchange between Tammy Duckworth questioning (eviscerating) Mr. Braulio Castillo in the House of Representatives. I can’t link to the video but it’s probably on YouTube by now.

A little background; Lieutenant-Colonel Duckworth, Army National Guard, lost both legs and part of her right arm when the Black Hawk she was piloting was hit by an RPG in Iraq.

Mr. Castillo hurt his foot playing football at a military prep school and later claimed the high school sports injury had rendered him a service-disabled veteran and was recently awarded $500m worth of US Government contracts under very dodgy circumstances.

This is a part of their repartee:

DUCKWORTH: Do you feel that the 30 percent rating that you have for the scars and the pain in your foot is accurate to the sacrifices that you've made for this nation, that the VA decision is accurate in your case?

CASTILLO: Yes ma'am, I do.

DUCKWORTH: You know my right arm was essentially blown off and reattached. I spent a year in limb salvage with over a dozen surgeries over that time period. And in fact we thought I would lose my arm, and I'm still in danger of possibly losing my arm. I can't feel it, I can't feel my three fingers. My disability rating for that arm is 20 percent

Here's a little more background but it doesn't do justice to the video:-

WASHINGTON -- On Wednesday, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a veteran of the Iraq War, dramatically chastised a federal contractor who claimed that a high school sports injury had rendered him a service-disabled veteran.

Speaking during a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Duckworth vividly described to a committee witness, Braulio Castillo, how she lives in near constant pain after losing both of her legs during her service as a combat pilot.

Castillo cited his foot injury, suffered at a military prep school, as the basis for his IT company's application for special status as a "service-disabled veteran-owned small business." The application was granted, and his company, Strong Castle, was given preferential treatment in federal contract bids.

"Does your foot hurt?" Duckworth asked Castillo, who answered yes.

"My feet hurt too," said Duckworth. "In fact, the balls of my feet burn continuously, and I feel like there's a nail being hammered into my heel right now. So I can understand pain and suffering, and how service connection can actually cause long-term, unremitting, unyielding, unstoppable pain."

"I'm sorry that twisting your ankle in high school has now come back to hurt you in such a painful way, if also opportune for you to gain this status for your business," she added.

Over a six-month period in 2012, Strong Castle won contracts with the Internal Revenue Service worth as much as $500 million. Wednesday's hearing followed a damning report that detailed how a senior IRS agent helped Castillo win the government business. The IRS agent in question, Greg Roseman, was dismissed from the hearing after he exercised his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

But the high point of the exchange between Duckworth and Castillo was a letter, read by the congresswoman, in which Castillo told a government official that his foot injury was "due to my service to this great country, and I would do it again to protect this great country."

"I'm so glad that you would be willing to play football at prep school again to protect this great country," Duckworth said sarcastically.

"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," she said.
"I'm so glad that you would be willing to play football at prep school again to protect this great country," Duckworth said sarcastically.

The guy is lower than whale shit. How much of a ****er would you feel explaining your injury to a double amputee(woman) veteran.

I'm surprised she didn't make crying baby noises at him
She could at least of hit him with a 'dry your eyes princess, you never served excuse for a spunk stain' or something like that, I thought she was quite light on him really, considering he's going to walk away as a much richer, if slightly embarrassed, tosser.
She is bloody impressive, able to calmly and intelligently state her case and put into words something that she is clearly quite emotional about.
I like to believe that I'm reasonably smart,able to debate and put together a clever and compelling argument, but I know that part way into ripping into him, I would be shouting, calling him a c word and ending up looking a total spaz.

I hope he has broken some laws so they can take him apart.


Book Reviewer
Total admiration for Duckworth. Not only has she proved that she is brave (anyone who flies a helo into a hot zone has more than a little plain old courage ) but she also has the common sense not to insult Castillo but to use reason to make a very sensible point. Even with bits blown off her she is a total asset to the USA.
Does anyone have any reference to her mention of the corpsman who had his leg blown off, tied a tourniquet on his own leg then crawled forwards to help injured marines? If true that bloke most have some very large testicles.

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I would not like to count the number of blokes I know who served in SVN who are are on a TPI (totally and permanently incapacitated) pension after claiming PTSD or back injuries, and yet worked for years after service, then made the claim just prior to their intended retirement date from work, so gave up work once it was approved, and now enjoy the benefits of a big tax free pension and other benefits, yet never had a problem for so many years after they ended their army service, maybe I am just suspicious, but so many of them were rear echelon and never saw a shot fired, just heard mortars and arty in the distance. Others who did not make a claim for any disability until after they retired from working cant get TPI, they were honest, kept working, then claimed for their disability, and now suffer financially as they had already stopped working before they claimed anything. So we have people in Australia who are no different, and take advantage of the regulations just as that bloke did, shame on them as well.
A 30% war pension for twisting your ankle in high school ? Only in America eh ? :)

They used to award the yanks a medal for flying over N.Ireland as they classified it as a war zone!

Hey pilot, do us a favour and divert over N.ireland safely at 30,000 Ft so the boys can earn their gongs! :)
Just to clarify. the man in question was at USMA Prep. Not high school but post high school. That means he was an enlisted man who was receiving additional schooling in the hope he can gain admission to the military academy for the 4 year degree program. Given hiis football ability I would guess he was a football recruit who needed academic work to pass the exams. Ifter he left USMA prep he was discharges and went on to play football for 4 years at a civilian university despite his "disabling" injury.

Mrs Duckworth is a remarkable woman, far too liberal for me to vote for but I do admire her. Gutsy lady.
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