Braulio Castillo, CEO of Strong Castle Inc, claims that he broke his foot playing football at a military prep school in 1984 – though the fracture, if any, didn’t show up in X-rays at the time of the injury. Nevertheless, he filed and received a 30 percent disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Though after “twisting his ankle” he played football on his foot in college. He used his status as a IRS contractor to become a “Service-disabled, veteran-owned, small business,” eligible for “set-aside” government contracts, as reported by Gawker.
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Il), who had herself lost use of her right arm, and lost both her legs, while serving in Iraq as a helicopter pilot, did not take well to his fraud, and told him so, in an intense invective he is unlikely to ever forget.
She asked him if his supposed injury disability rating of 30 percent for his ankle was accurate for the “scars, for the pain in your foot.” And he agreed it was.
“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 losing my arm. I can’t feel it, I can’t feel my three fingers. My disability for that arm is 20 percent.”
She quoted his letter applying for disability, which read: “These are crosses that I bear due to my service to our great country and I would do it again to protect this great country.” She responded in this wise:
“I’m so glad that you would be willing to play football in prep school again to protect this great country,” Duckworth responded. “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. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans right now are waiting an average of 237 days for an initial disability rating. It is because people like you who are gaming the system are adding to that backlog that young men and women who are suffering from post-traumatic stress, who are missing limbs cannot get the compensation and the help that they need.”
The video shows even more of her fury, as she denounced the presumption of his malingering – and is powerful to the end.