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The power of shame

Rep.-elect Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. Duckworth, who lost both legs and partial use of an arm in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Iraq, told her colleagues in the final moments of debate on Friday, "This is a self-inflicted wound that has no place in the military". (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

Federal law gives preference to disabled veterans in federal contracts. You were injured defending your country – why shouldn’t your government give you a little boost?

And so it was that Brulio Castillo, who got millions in government contracts using a disability preference, was called before a congressional committee:

“In your letter, you said, ‘My family and I have made considerable sacrifices for my country and I would do it again.'”

Except, it turns out Mr. Castillo’s disability was twisting his foot while playing football at a military prep school, but not so bad that he couldn’t go on to play college ball. And yet his disability rating was 30%. Unfortunately for him, the committee members included Iraq War veteran Rep. Tammy Duckworth:

“Your foot hurt?”
“Yes ma’am.”
“My feet hurt, too.”

Tammy Duckworth lost both legs while serving in Iraq when an RPG landed in her helicopter.

“Shame on you. You may not have broken any laws, but you certainly broke the trust of this great nation.”

But did you hear what she said? HE BROKE NO LAWS! So, what’s likely to happen now is that Congress requires still more paperwork in applying for these military preferences and that becomes a hassle even for the veterans who deserve the benefit.

I have an idea. As part of your application – you have to listen to a clip of Tammy Duckworth:

“My right arm was essentially blown off and reattached. My disability rating is 20%.”

That might make the paper heroes think twice.

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