Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who lost both legs and severely injured an arm as a helicopter pilot in Iraq, was a fierce sight to behold at a House hearing today where she blasted a contractor who made millions from federal contracts by "gaming the system" and claiming to be a "service-disabled veteran" because - wait for it - he hurt his ankle playing football at a military prep school. After being granted preferential treatment in federal contract bids, Braulio Castillo's Strong Castle company made as much as $500 million over six months from contracts with the IRS, where he also had a chum who coached him. The hearing came after a damning report detailing "problematic and abusive" relationships between the IRS and federal contractors. In the high point of Duckworth's admirable, furious performance in which she summoned up the thousands of grievously wounded, truly deserving veterans now going without adequate care because of bozos like him, she read from a letter Castillo sent the VA begging for special status, citing "the crosses that I bear due to my service to this great country...(and) I would do it again."
“I’m so glad that you would be willing to play football in prep school again to protect this great country,” she said. “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.”