WASHINGTON: Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth lost both legs and full use of her right arm when her Illinois Army National Guard helicopter got shot down in Iraq. So the Illinois Democrat was understandably impatient with Braulio Castillo, a technology contractor who parlayed an old football injury at a military prep school into a dubious 30 percent disability rating from the VA and hundreds of millions in IRS contracts set aside for small businesses owned by disabled veterans.

“Does your foot hurt?” Duckworth asked sweetly. “My feet hurt too.”

Tammy Duckworth prosthetics size0-army.mil-2007-11-08-055343

The full video (at the bottom of this story) is circulating widely on the web, and it’s worth watching the whole exchange, not that it’s much of an exchange: When Castillo tries to defend his 30 percent disability rating for foot pain – Duckworth’s mangled right arm only got a 20 percent –  the soldier turned congresswoman cuts him off: “This is not an argument. I’m talking. I’m up here.”

But there’s a deeper policy problem here that can’t be solved by lambasting Castillo, as satisfying and well-deserved as it may be. See if you can spot the problem lurking in these lines of Duckworth’s:

“It seems like there is some opportunity here for legislative fixes to the system….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 and it is because people like you who are gaming that system are adding to that backlog.”

Duckworth is right that we have two interconnected problems: dishonest veterans and pseudo-veterans who get disability benefits they don’t deserve, and honest vets who don’t get the benefits they do. But here’s the stinger: Anything you do to fix one of those problems makes the other one worse.

If you make “legislative fixes” to prevent dubious claims like Castillo’s getting through, you’ve added additional legal and bureaucratic requirements that slow the process for everyone, honest and dishonest alike. (This kind of unintended consequence is a big reason why the Pentagon’s weapons-procurement system has been “fixed” to prevent millions in fraud, waste, and abuse at the price of running up prices by billions so often that it now takes longer and costs more than ever before to buy a weapon).  On the other hand, if you streamline the system so honest vets can get their claims processed faster, it can make it easier for fraudsters to slip through.

Yes, you can add more claims processing personnel – but it takes time to train them in the intricacies of disability regulations and money to hire them, at a time when budgets are coming down so quickly that it’s compromising the readiness of the armed forces to fight. Yes, you can streamline the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in ways that make it more efficient at both processing claims and detecting fraud – it’s a government bureaucracy after all – but there are only so many cakes you can have and eat too. Ultimately, in any process, whether it’s resolving disability claims at the VA or following a recipe in the kitchen, speed and accuracy are at odds: Increase one and you decrease the other.

All too often, Congress lurches from one crowd-pleasing extreme to the other, first lambasting bureaucrats for paying the wrong people and ordering them to be more careful, then lambasting bureaucrats for not paying the right people and ordering them to be quicker. Considering how big a burden the veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq – and their families – have born for the last 12 years, and how many of them are going to need help for the rest of their lives, we owe it to them not to let our passion drive our policymaking.


  • laura


    • art

      awesome, the truth, the greed, the real patriots…and this creep that wants to steal all he can…typical big business thief,typical direction our country has moved to. The gy should be sent to war and see what it truly is.

      • Kay Mauer

        Big business? Better watch all those EBT cards out there. Much worse. Washing needs to be run like a business. That’s the guy who didn’t win. Wait till all these illegals swamp our system.. But that is the Cloward-Piven method of Obama. Overload and break the United States. Obama is a destroyer. So is the Socialist Democratic Party.
        Democrats are incapable of cleaning up their mess.

  • mooey

    When tammy duckworth apologized for taking extra time, I laughed so hard when the speaker of the house said , no problem it was time well spent!!!

    • Steve

      For once, I agree with Issa

  • gus

    Rep.Duckworth. You make me proud!!!

    • mike

      She is a TOUGH troop, huh??

      • WHTEHEAT


        • Albert Gazalooch

          Better think that one over. She’s almost as far to the left as a Liberal can get! Would make a great running mate for Al Franken!

  • RJ9255

    Considering how big a burden the veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq – and their families – have born for the last 12 years,

    Don’t you mean “have BORNE”?

  • Jim

    Why is this guy not under the jail ?

  • John

    It’s about time someone is getting repremended! Too many of these cases are in the system wrecking it for the men and women who NEED it! Go Tammy…

    • McMike

      I agreed…………..Have we seen even 1 head roll in the IRS scandal? Yup Crickets.

    • Cheryl Newcomb

      Reprimanded? They belong in jail.

    • burntanne

      Is it my imagination, or has laura done a 180 degree turn on her opinion of Congresswoman Duckworth from when I started reading this column of opinions?

    • larry kelley

      Yeah, John, especially the creeps and parasites who contract with DoD. There’s more fraud than this that has never come out.

  • FletchGuy

    While appreciating her service she is an evil evil woman who is another problem in the state of Illinois along with the other dems who have raped the people and forced the state in to massive debt and have stolen pensions from the people. She served with honor but came home to destroy the state.

    • Jean

      how do you figure that? She is in her first term, and has only been in office since January. The state of Illinois has been in trouble for a very long time, and she didn’t have anything to do with that.

    • Mark Samuels

      Get a life, she’s given more than you’ll ever give, kudo’s to a fellow Vet for taking a stance.

  • Kir

    You are my HERO Ms. Duckworth! That man should be jailed for his whining!

    • burntanne

      She told him that what he did is not illegal. Somebody explain that one to me, please.

      • sja8800

        you would think something like fraud would be involved……

      • Mark Samuels

        Our wonderful politicians have enacted guidelines that the VA must follow, the include allowing claims for low income Vets to receive disability payments for non service related injuries. Time for change!

        • CJ

          Change? I cannot
          be absolutely certainty, but you don’t have a clue about what you speak. Nonservice-connected pension is a benefit for
          Veterans who: have no disease or
          disability related to military service; have wartime and “other than
          dishonorable” service; and, meet maximum income limits. The maximum annual pension rate (MARP) is
          currently $12,256 for a Veteran, with no spouse/dependent children. For example, a single Veteran with multiple
          sclerosis, deemed unrelated to his honorable, Vietnam service, who’s only
          income is $1000 per month in Social Security Benefits is eligible to receive $256
          in VA pension benefits. I agree with you:
          it’s time for change- a change that considerably increases the MARP, allowing
          our nation’s heroes to live a fairly normal existence. How about you initiate this change, eh?

  • RJ9255

    Excellent video, Sen. Duckworth. I loved the way you handled Mr. Castillo, who wasn’t injured through service to the nation but was injured playing college football but uses his injury to obtain VA benefits just because he served in the armed forces. Excellent, excellent rebuttal, Sen. Duckworth.

    • Michael Obrien

      Ah, she’s a Congresswoman!

      • zipmeister

        Senators are members of Congress. I think you meant to say “she’s a Representative.”

        • John

          Senators and representatives are BOTH members of congress which is comprised of the house of representatives and the senate. A representative would be referred to as either congressman or congresswoman.

      • Frieda

        But she is indeed material to be a senator..next election…

    • Steven Childers

      worse still,,it wasn’t college where he was injuried. It was in a Military prep school, and he went on to start as a quarterback in college…some injury i say.

      • Frieda

        My understanding is that he twisted his ankle….

        • Steven Childers

          he supposedly had ankle surgery,,but still eithre way,,it was in high school for crying out loud

      • CeeJay

        I’m trying the find the part of the story that rules out possibility that the Congressman was granted VA benefits because his right ankle, while incurred prior to active military duty, was permanently worsened therein. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I didn’t hear Congresswoman Duckworth mention it. Although her severe disabilities pull on my heart strings and I appreciate her military service, neither add weight to her accusations. Additionally, one can never know the basis upon which entitlement to VA benefits are established or denied; such information is private and only released to the corresponding VA claimant (or custodian/fiduciary) or his/her accredited representative. Hence, Rep. Duckworth’s accusations are more likely than not unsupported.

    • larry kelley

      WRONG, it was a military high school ROTC stint where he twisted his ankle, not college football. That’s the point to emphasize his fraud — he played college football AFTER he suffered his claimed disability. He never served a day of active service or even enlisted, period. The real story is how some stupid ass at VA allowed his phony claim to go through. He did violate existing laws — he perpetrated fraud on the VA by claiming an injury that was NOT incurred during active duty. ROTC is not active duty — but they allowed this creep to claim that ROTC was active duty. The dumbing down of America has reached a fever point. I’ll be glad to get my 100% and never hear the term “VA” ever again.

  • KingKen

    So why not a different approach than simply focusing on the front end? Why not leave the current process in place for determining eligibility, but if someone like Mr. Castillo is found who “games the system” for benefits they should not have gotten after the fact go after them hard. The threat of severe penalties if caught might just dissuade a good number of people from trying to fraudulently claim benefits they aren’t entitled to.

    • McMike

      Well then they would have to go after all the O’s and Pelosi’s buddies in the complete mismanagement of now uncollectable loans for alternative energy research…….. What a friggin’ scam that is.

      • James Haselhorst

        Really! Your going to make this issue about POLITICS? The veteran’s sacrificing life, limb and time with their families come for all political views, all walks of life and people like Castillo are disrespecting their sacrifice by their actions. And you are disrespecting them as well by using their suffering as a opportunity to advance your own political opinions by take political cheap shots.

      • Mark Samuels

        The Bush administration had just as many defaults, do the research. Now back on topic, the problem is due to guidelines passed by our politicians that the VA must follow which allows this type fo taxpayer money waste.

    • Blind Intellect

      One would hope. With the current disability system, you must prove you actually have a disability. (Example: I must go to an eye surgeon every three years to prove that no, my optic nerves have indeed not magically grown and made me see).

      • larry kelley

        WRONG, it was a military high school ROTC stint where he twisted his ankle, not college football. That’s the point to emphasize his fraud — he played college football AFTER he suffered his claimed disability. He never served a day of active service or even enlisted, period. The real story is how some stupid ass at VA allowed his phony claim to go through. He did violate existing laws — he perpetrated fraud on the VA by claiming an injury that was NOT incurred during active duty. ROTC is not active duty — but they allowed this creep to claim that ROTC was active duty. The dumbing down of America has reached a fever point. I’ll be glad to get my 100% and never hear the term “VA” ever again.

        • Blind Intellect

          Wow….do you honestly think ROTC makes one an actual veteran? If you do, you are clearly the stereotype for “DUMB AMERICAN”. The asshole is a school graduate. Not a real soldier.

          • larry kelley

            You are indeed BLIND, Read my post again. Get literate. Never said ROTC makes one a veteran — just the opposite in fact. Your screen name fits you well. Your intellect is blind and dumb.

  • thomas lee

    duckworth probably was bible dumb like most vets she should ve stayed in the kitchen and listened to the holy ghost.

    • Steven Bloecher

      That is an insult to veterans, Christians and kind people (which you are not)

      • thomas lee

        stop the whining people sins get us into this jam called war in the first place westboro baptist church are my teachers i watch all their videos

        • mike

          Westboro in Topeka KS?? The ‘Church” with the web address of http://www.godhatesfags.com??? WOW……that explains it all!!!!
          I am confident that you fit in there……

        • Trisha

          Mr. Thomas Lee, are you not whining at this time? Are you not projecting your hatred which is a sin? And videos that your Church provides, are you sure that they are correct or do they view and edit them first to empower their hatred in which you project onto others? Servicing the military, police or fire dept is honor, being in the medical field saving lives is an honor. Being someone who hides behind faith looking in on the side lines, is a coward. To put someone down based on your religious beliefs, is that not a sin aren’t you suppose to love thy neighbor and think happy thoughts for others. Isn’t GOD the one whom judges us in the end? For GOD is almighty and gave us the responsibility to lead one’s whom life and live through the teachings, this woman gave her life to protect us from another type of religion who’s peers were radical and thought that we should not be alive? Considering all of the religions that are out there and the interpreting that man does in order to “teach” maybe somewhere along the lines certain groups misheard and our now radicals who become terrorist. Once again, for all those who have given their lives and have tried to help our country, thank you for your service, you have my up most respect.

        • Kathy

          Westboro is NOT a church… it is a cult of haters…

          • Michael Obrien

            Hardly more than a collection of an ‘inbred family!’

        • Michael Obrien

          Well then, they’re not teaching you too well.
          If, IF, you are not a little boy, getting his jollies attempting to ‘tweak’ people’s good senses, then YOU are a very poor student of ‘your Masters.’
          The WBC isn’t against war, they are against ANY acceptance of Gays in our society, in this case the Military!
          The more you know…………..

        • geoff

          TO thomas lee: Westboro is NOT a church, a church is where people greet each other with open arms, do not judge one another, either it be their political beliefs or whatever, do not condemn a person who serves in the military, does not judge a person because of their sexual preference, no Mr lee Westboro is NOT a church.

          A real church loves people not hate people!!!

          Real christians do NOT go to funerals of deceased war veterans and cause grief to the surviving members of his/her family.

          I can NOT see Jesus walking into Westboro Church and saying to the congregation ” Thanks for a job well done!!!

        • poot

          well, thomas, you sound like an idiot to me.

        • Steven Bloecher

          I have forgotten more Bible than you will ever know, sir. I simply stated my opinion of your post, now I understand why you made such a post, I certainly would not be proud to admit I had anything to do with WB, but this is anonymous so you are safe.

    • Trisha

      Excuse me, she served our country and lost her legs and one arm is mangled. Considering that we say one nation under GOD, how do you know she was not servicing GOD during her time in the military. Have you ever stood up against bullets to provide safety to the people who live here? Or are you a coward who hides behind a book? Who ever man or woman who give their life the military whether they come out alive or not, deserves the honor and respect. They should be taking care of by our taxes and government funding for injuries in the military not some little boy who has a ankle injury from outside the service.

    • Mike

      Thomas Lee…sounds like some sort of INBRED name….you ARE an extremely IGNORANT individual that has probably never stood for anything in your pathetic little life, much less have the intestinal fortitude to serve or country. However, Rep Duckworth went into a COMBAT zone and fought with her life for you to have the undeserved right to voice your opinion in such an unappreciative way. Shame on you, Tommy….shame, shame, shame…..

      • Steve

        You said everything I wanted to post, but I couldn’t get the expletives out of mine.

      • poot

        what does and “inbred name” sound like?

    • fredhstclr

      guess you never served,,,,we used to call them draft dogers,,YOU are not entitlled to comment on the subject

      • poot

        There hasn’t been a draft in over 35 years.

      • Christopher Koda

        No we called them “Jody”.

    • jdhuegel1

      I hope you die… Slow and painfully. Starting now. You’re a piece of crap. I want to cave your face in.

      • thomas lee

        you don t know the bible[ hellfire not prosperity] your all pieces of s it my previous commentators the nine of you

        • mike

          Typical CULT member…..hide behind your religion. I feel sorry for you……Unfortunately, the only way you feel like a productive member of society is to sit here and try to justify your cause thru a faceless chat line………what a ‘friggin’ coward you are……Hope all of the members of your cult are there for you when you really need them……..I am pretty sure they are the only ones you can count on…ALL 5 of them…..You, my friend, are PATHETIC!!!!!

        • Trisha

          Haha Mr. Thomas we are pieces of S it, wow look at your cursing and getting frustrated. Where is your savior now? Why won’t he punish us for not agreeing with you? You are a sad sad little man who needs a book to get through the day. GOD is not a book, he is in your heart and mind. Lift a stone and he will be there, break a piece of wood and you will find him. No where does it say a building defines you faith, it is your actions and words who define who you are. May GOD have mercy on your soul for when you pass your sins will follow

        • http://www.facebook.com/msgpcastle Paul Castle

          Dear mr lee please hang a sign around your neck at every public event you attend. I might just be there and will show you what a piece of shit I really am.

      • Mike

        Better yet……I hope he is served justice by a group of homosexuals…..they apparently intimidate him

    • http://www.facebook.com/msgpcastle Paul Castle

      So thomas lee when and where did you serve?

    • Mark Samuels

      Yo little tommy boy, while you sat at home scarfing down donuts, we Vets put ourselves in harms way for you could make your next trip to Krispy Kreme without a goverment pass.

  • Mike

    BRAVO…Rep. Duckworth…God bless you for you service, sacrifices, and continued commitment to expose these BOGUS individuals that try to receive benefits that they don’t need or deserve.

    • stopspending4

      Isn’t it unfortunate that people like Rep Duckworth give their lives and body to defend people like you. You really should live somewhere that does not afford the freedoms that these wonderful vets allow us.

      • jdhuegel1

        Just because you’re a vet doesn’t mean you’re entitled. She called out a liar. And rightfully so. It’s people like YOU that should live somewhere else.

        • Michael Obrien

          Wow, ‘reading comprehension,’ NON-EXISTENT!

          • RhymesWithWitch

            Thank you Obrien! I thought maybe I was high but couldn’t remember the last bong pass. The 2nd post was defending the 1st post, but the 3rd post mistook something and turned everything around. And the walls came tumbling down…

        • Blind Intellect

          While true, simply being a vet doesn’t excuse ill-mannered behaviour, those who have actually been wounded/actually seen war, etc. do deserve help when they return. Homeless veterans shouldn’t be a concept.

          And agreed re: calling out a pansy liar. REAL disabilities prevent one from performing daily tasks in a “typical” manner. And twisted ankles don’t count.

          • svfoxhotmail

            to bad they don’t get much help. My grandfather got screwed so bad and it has never gotten any better. You are on your own in this world. The government is pure corruption. I worked there. The generals rig all the contracts.

        • noodles

          I think you need to reread you so got the meaning of the statement wrong and lambasted someone on your side???

        • rosie46

          Was he even a veteran — he is called a pseudo vet and it indicates he was a contractor. He should be reclassified and receive no disaiblity from the VA and then have the contracts cancelled and prosecuted for fraud.

          This also brings to mind the massive increase in those applying for disability under Social Security with unemployment high. How do you disprove back pain to stress. There is lot of fraud in our systems by people claiming false disabilities, like Castillo against the VA.

          • Regina

            I think he is claiming an ROTC-related ankle twist.

          • larry kelley

            What this ignorant article doesn’t tell anyone is that this guy based his disability claim on his military high school ROTC stint and NEVER served a single day of active duty. It the dumb-asses at VA that let this parasite get his SDVOSB status by awarding him his disability rating and compensation. He has taken over $500 million in contracts from legitimate SDVOSBs. The writer of this article says that we should just overlook it and play along instead of effecting changes thru new laws since the new laws only make it harder on the good guys. Yeah, right, and here he is advancing this perverted suggestion to the readers of a DoD-Pentagon crowd, half of whom are cheats and rip-off artists themselves.

    • Ken

      I agree with Duckworth. These people are dishonest and abuse the system that ruins it for those who really need it. This country is going straight to he**.

    • Blind Intellect

      Hear, hear!

  • Jimmy 6

    Every Vet. has a story.

    • fredhstclr

      Guess you aren’t brave enough to DEFEND this country against the enemy,,When you have worn a uniform from any branch of the U S Military THEN and ONLY THEN can you tell your story

      • Jimmy 6

        …Piss on those cry babies. They volunteered to fight G.W’s war . You can go and fight and get your arms and legs blown off….For what….America? Wake up Fool…..

        • JozefAL

          Except Rep Ducksworth did NOT “volunteer to fight GW’s war.” She joined the Army reserve in 1992 and the Army National Guard in 1996.
          You’re pure scum.

          • Jimmy 6

            The woman wasn’t drafted , so she is a volunteer. She now has all kind of free bee’s. America has plenty more hero want to bee’s. You can call me want it changes nothing.

          • Trisha

            It does not matter if she was drafted or volunteered, she did a whole lot more then you have. She went to battle she served her country regardless how she ended up there, I do not care. She did a service she should be compensated for that. You are mixing up free bees like those who use the system in order not to work. It says a lot for her to volunteer her life instead of needing to be drafted. there are many cowards who got drafted and who put their team in danger due to them being scared. When you can go into war with bullets or bombs then you may speak

          • Jimmy 6

            …I’m not stupid…No war since WWII has our way of life been threated. All the rest were B.S……

          • josh

            She was a volunteer. She wasn’t drafted and just because its called the National Guard don’t mean they don’t go overseas. They do. The National Guard is still run by the Fed and why they were sent over seas, which shouldn’t happen but the government don’t care in the first place.

        • Trisha

          That is rude and out of context. No matter what war is fought these military people are in contract and have to uphold what they signed up for. For whom dictated war that is on them not the people who are brought in. For every person who gives their life that are amazing, for you to sit there and judge those men and women, who could be someone’s child, mother/father or brother/sister, shame on you. Shame on your ignorance and hatred for someone you do not know. No one is saying WAR IS GREAT, they are arguing for people who actual are hurt in the military to be compensated and helped during there life span as a vet for the services in which were rendered.

          • Jimmy 6

            I say all wars after WWII was a waste and people died for $$$$$$$.

        • Christopher Koda

          Sorry sonny but, I was drafted and I was sent into combat and I watched as 45% of my battalion were medevaced out. Our battles are not listed as they have declared the action from 5/69 thru 7/69 as classified. I still see the 122mm rocket a it hits 12 inches infront of the 81mm rounds stacked and ready to fire. I still see the face of the barber who shaved me on tuesday and was fond in the wire wednesday night. I am still trying to get one of the soldiers in my gun crew disability for PTSD as he also suffers the same sights, sounds and smell of what happened. So go ahead and call me a fool I served my country so you have that right.

          • Jimmy 6

            ..What you been smoken everyone stand and do a jig when Chris walks by. I think we is a Wizard……

          • Christopher Koda

            And you have done what for this country except collect a welfare check. Anytime you think your man enough name a time and a place. And I served in 68-69.

          • Jimmy 6

            The Wizard has spoken…Any place , any time. Who did you serve? Nixon.

          • Christopher Koda

            I guess talking to a fool like you is useless as you have no clue as to who was president in 68&69. Then again, I can understand you so called disrespect because you have no respect for anyone including yourself. Don’t like what our soldiers do then get your sorry ass out where you can continue your sorry life.

          • Jimmy 6

            …Oh ..the Wizard is old and collecting a Govt. Check. I say to you oh mighty Wizard will you do a dance for the dead….

  • geoff

    Having served in the Military, I can attest that most veteran’s are honest, but a some are not. A lot of people will take advantage of anything, look around your neighborhood, and I’ sure we know loser’s who are milking the system. I have seen good folks in the military who really cared about the service and their job get the short end of the straw!!
    I have also seen people who just knew how to scamper along never really contributing, doing only just above the minimum to squeeze by get rewarded!!!

  • heidi

    Congresswoman Tammy-you got b@lls that those sitting around you spend their elected time sitting on with their thumb inserted just behind them. You called it 100% clear and correct and I thank you for representing those who elected you. We need a flock just like you–THANK YOU

  • Joe

    I know a VET. who’s scaming the VA. He told me what he does, and He gets away with it…

    • jennifer martinez

      Report him

    • Cat

      Turn him in, it is your public duty!!!!

    • John Fletcher

      Report him

    • Mike

      He is stealing YOUR money and all of our trust………there are some VETS that are just plain down right scum….think you have found one………

    • burntanne

      To know that and not do something about it [like, turning him in/reporting him for fraud] makes you just as much a scam as he. Report him.

  • Donald Eugene Putnam Jr.

    He’s just a another greedy business man mostly likely a Repuke, greed is good. Correct?

    • McMike

      The guy that helped him was another big shot in the IRS, that pleaded the 5th….. Sounds like a dem to me.

    • stopspending4

      Oh, I am so sorry to tell you this man, and the IRS agent that GAVE him the contracts are both Dem. Nice try though. Maybe you will be able to find some facts in the future before you try to slam the Rep. Just goes to show how little the left cares about facts.

      • JozefAL

        And you know the man’s political affiliation, how?

      • Donald Eugene Putnam Jr.

        I’ve NEVER received the care I’m due from my service connected disability much like many other veterans. That fact has never bothered the American people.

        • stopspending4

          As one of the “American people” the treatment of you and other vets bothers me VERY much. The one group we should be treating like rock stars are ignored after they sacrificed for us. BTW, I give to several vet charities to do what I can even though I think our tax money should gladly be spent to help vets however they need help.
          Thank you for your service.

    • Kathy

      There is corruption and greed on both sides of the isle…

      • Donald Eugene Putnam Jr.

        Considering I’m a poor disabled vet living in a tent and Democrat. I’ll stick with my point.

    • http://www.facebook.com/msgpcastle Paul Castle

      Out of the mouths of stupid.

      • Donald Eugene Putnam Jr.

        Easy to insult online but I’m easy to find if your man enough.

  • Money McNubb

    Kudos. This system does need fixing. A vet I work with claimed disability on a case of acne…and got it. He actually gets money for acne. Shocking

    • Greg

      So was his acne the result of exposure to chemical or biological agents? Was it caused by exposure to the destroyed oil wells in Iraq, etc.? If so, he deserves it. Quit making stupid comments without the facts.

      • Money McNubb

        Having acne shouldn’t make one allowed to fleece the system. The only thing stupid is that he gets money for it.

        • Greg

          What makes you so sure it was Acne, and not the result of chemical burns or exposure to biological agents. It’s estimated that at least 80,000 US vets were exposed to them during the war in Iraq.

          • Money McNubb

            I can only go by WHAT HE SAYS now, can’t I. That’s how I’m so sure.

  • McMike

    I applaud Congresswoman Duckworth, and I Thank her for her service. Would that the same zeal and enthusiasm be directed at any group or individual this is fraudulantly using the system, such as food stamp fraud, welfare to able bodied people, fraudulent grants, uncollectable student loans, the 6th full vacation this year taken by the O $100M this time, IRS basically going on taxpayer junkets, and collecting $70M in bonuses. Stuff like that. All of Capitol Hill would have much higher ratings, and a certain amount of trust might be re-claimed if they actually decided to do their jobs and be more beholding to the people actually paying the bills than their special interest groups.

    • stopspending4

      Don’t forget the IRS gives 110 millions$ to fraudulent illegal tax refunds using tax payer ID numbers even after the fraud is pointed out.
      I applaud Duckworth for her service and for her investigation into this. However, I will withhold my congratulations until she and others in Congress prosecute these bums. Maybe that would stop SOME of the fraud. Perp walks might slow things down.

    • JozefAL

      Well, if you could prove any “food stamp fraud” or any of the rest of your GOP fantasy bullshit, you might have a point. But just because Rush and Hannity and O’Reilly and FoxNoise say something doesn’t mean it’s true. (And while you slam Obama for his “6th full vacation,” you might want to consider just how many weeks the GOPers in the House have spent NOT working this year. In fact, I seem to recall the GOPers in the House whining because they had to stay in DC a whole extra day instead of getting their TWO FULL WEEKS of “Easter break.”)

      • josh

        At some point you have to stop blaming the GOP and Republicans for everything. The Democrats have had their chance to fix things and they have only made things worse and have for the most part continued Bush’s policies while outspending his administration and increasing the countries debt. If you don’t see the system is messed up on both sides it will never be fixed. The “blaming Bush and the GOP” argument is about as effective as saying reptilian’s run the government.

  • fredhstclr

    way too many claiming to be disabled , smoke and mirror claims for an easy buck

  • xpresyrslf


  • disgusted vet

    Thank you, ma’am. Not only for your service, but for also bringing to the forefront the manipulations of individuals who want the benefits and profits that a contract with the government would bring. I’d also take a look at the contract he has and find out how much he is “milking” the government for; if he can get bennies for a minor injury and not think twice about it…I wonder what profit he intends to make – and not think twice about.

  • xpresyrslf


  • stopspending4

    I clearly think it is possible to at least lower, if not eliminate, the fraudulent use of a disability. Some must have approved a 30% disability for a twisted ankle years ago while in prep school. That person should immediately lose their job because they do not have the qualities required to make the correct decisions. If the so called disabled, was untruthful about how and when his disability occurred and the extent, he should be prosecuted. No new laws are needed, we just need to enforce the ones we have. Hold people accountable for their actions and stop with the NEW laws.

    • patrick

      According the the Combined Federal Regulations and the VA Manual, Mr. Castillo was eligible for the benefits. The adjudicator does not have a choice whether to grant if the evidence shows that the regulations are met. Which is why this article speaks to the catch-22 of legislating changes to the qualifications for VA Compensation.

      While not illegal, Mr. Castillo clearly felt he should get free money for being a vet. Most VA claims are from vets who have real injuries. The VA works hard to get these done. But what has happened over the last 5-6 years is that most every one that comes home from the war is encouraged to fill out an application for Compensation benefits and send it in. A lot of injuries are not reported while on tour or were minimal, but the claim is sent in anyway in case the VA grants and you get some extra money every month.
      On the flip side, most denials are appealed, which takes more claims processors away form the new claims to fullfill a lengthy and detailed appeals process, which is mandated by law. The VA and the claims process is a large machine whose policies are determined by the CFR, not the processors whims

      • stopspending4

        sorry I am not totally up to speed on this and the VA requirements. Are you saying if someone in a military prep school has a sprained ankle, years later the evaluate has no choice but to give him a 30% disability?
        Who makes that determination? Was he totally honest on the filing paperwork? Did he include all info and still the evaluator could not disqualify him?
        I am not being sarcastic, just want clarification or link were I can get more info.

  • Uncleben

    We could go to a national sales tax and turn the IRS loose on government and social program fraud..since they are all rampant with fraud from the top to the bottom…

  • Working american

    The real problem is, the loss of moral values that our Milatary fought so hard to protect have eroded from within the Country.
    I have self inflicted disabilty that would easily qualify me for Gov’t money. I never asked for a dime. My brother in law is a transplant survivor, still works after 40 years on the job. American values of hard work for God and country are gone, along with the ten commandments and morality.

  • jonzbeach

    shame on you castillo…SHAME ON YOU…no go long for a down and out…OF BUSINESS!!!!! you prep school pussy.

  • jr

    One down, untold dozens to go.

  • rlk

    My son has been diagnosed with severe PTSD – he has been homeless and has lost not only everything he owns but also his pride and his dignity. He served two deployments to Iraq and was awarded an Army Commendation which is now in the hands of his former friend and landlord if he has not thrown it away. It was a struggle to get him to go to the VA but the day he put a gun to his head there was an angel watching over him. He has filed for disability – is on all sorts of medication prescribed by the doctors at the VA – and is trying to put his life back together. Right now, I support him and I am working two jobs to make ends meet. He did not have to go on the second deployment but his unit begged him to go as they had so many new guys. My son was highly respected by the officers and other soldiers in his unit due to his actions during his first deployment and again fulfilled his duties during his second bringing all of his men back alive. His wounds are not visible but they do run deep. When he is having a stressful time he just tells me, “Mom, there is one road in and one road out.” He sleeps on the couch in the room next to my bedroom even though there is an empty bedroom for him. This is what has become of my wonderful son who has served his country.

    • geoff

      My thought and prayers are with you!!

      • chvlly

        Mine too. We need so many more citizens like your son and so many fewer like this Castillo creep.

    • djrachoy

      Dear Mom, Thanks for YOUR sacrifice and service, too. Your son deserves better from this nation. Thank him from me for his service. We should all keep him and the many others who have served in our prayers.

      • CathyV


    • Guest

      My sympathies for you and your son. I have two sons on acative duty…one with 8 tours in Iraq. He is single and did volunteer to take the place of a new father one time. He only “had” to go three times…the rest were at his request. He now has 18.5 years in the military and will retire at 20, but is called to deploy he is ready willing and able and I do support his choices either way.

    • Rothhammer1

      Have you considered an Assistance Service Dog?

      Specifically trained Service Dogs have proven to be extremely effective with many cases of Veterans with PTSD and other issues. The ‘bond,’ of unquestioning acceptance and unique relationship between dog and returning soldier has worked wonders. You can find information at servicedogcenter.org .

      The ASDEC in Woodlake, Ca. is a facility where dogs (Golden Retrievers) are trained by volunteers who work with a single dog from the beginning of training through the introductory stages of bonding to the person that the dog will serve. They would surely be able to provide information regarding similar venues in your area.

      • Elaine Lake

        Thanks Rothammer, I was going to reply after reading other replies and tell the parents about service dogs for their sons who have PTSD. They can not only get a service dog from the ASDEC in Woodlake, CA but their are service dog programs through the VA that are placing service dogs with disabled vets. I have a physical disability but I could not be any where near as independent as I am without my mobility assistance dog. And for vets with traumatic brain injuries or PTSD, the service dogs are awesome and make such a difference in their lives.
        Thanks to all the vets, disabled or not, who have served this country to provide the freedoms that we enjoy today.

    • CathyV

      Thank Your son for his service and let him know he’s not alone with his thoughts. My Dad served in Viet Nam and suffered PTSD as well–we just never had a name for it. I’m so glad he’s getting help and that he has you to help him through his suffering. This is really what the disability is all about, not some jack-ass who hurt his ankle in PREP school! Keep letting him know he’s safe here–and it’s because of the sacrifices of men and women like him that it’s this way… He’s a hero and deserves to know it.

    • Jack

      I am ashamed of my country and for the treatement you and your son received. We lasvish so much on on the undeserving, the leeches, the parasites, and don’t even pay tribute to the real heroes of this country. The country needs a reset.

      • Guest

        I’m sorry; what bad treatment did rlk and her son receive, which resulted in your shame for “your” country? I don’t believe I caught that part of the post. It’s sad that he’s suffering with PTSD; it’s a terrible disease. But, he’s finally agreed to file a claim and get the treatment he needs. Oh yeah! She did mention something about a former friend and a landlord, throwing away her son’s military documents, but that would make you unpatriotic. Would it?

    • Stan

      You work two jobs to support your son? Tell your son to snap out of it.Stop enabling him by not insisting he support HIMSELF.Remind him that ultimately he is the ONLY one responsible for what kind of life he will have.The BEST thing that could happen to him is the VA DOESNT make a lifetime cripple out of him by giving him a disability.War is over son.Dont let it ruin your life.But dont be like so many and try to make a career out of a few years military service.You did you duty…move on to the life you deserve now.

      • Rachelanne Smith

        You’re an idiot. I have PTSD from physical and sexual abuse, not military service, but I can tell you that you don’t just “snap out of it.” Your relive your trauma every single day. I have literally been in a hardware store and suddenly the past and present merge until you are fighting demons that aren’t really there. This brave woman is not saying she wants the VA to take care of her son or to “make a lifetime cripple out of him” by giving him disability, but by providing the help he needs to rebuild his life. Consider yourself fortunate that you never had something so horrible happen to you that your mind could not handle it. I would not hope PTSD or the trauma that caused it on anyone but you surely deserve some kind of punishment for the poison you send out into the world.

      • Guest

        Wow! Tell her how you really feel, dude. LOL! A
        harsh on the delivery, but you give a bit of good advice. Unless rlk’s son is medically deemed mentally
        incompetent (unable to care for himself), she should not enabled him as much as
        it appears she does. It’s great that he
        getting the help he needs and he’ll more than likely receive VA disability
        benefits if his PTSD is medically linked to an in-service event that fits the
        facts and circumstances of his service, despite the VA inability to verify the
        reported in-service event. As an aside: PTSD claims represent the most fraudulent
        claims filed, and unfortunately paid, to date.

  • John Jacobson

    How did his injury occur in the defense of the nation?

    • Michael Obrien

      His Coach in College told him he was going to war ‘on the gridiron!’
      Military euphemisms in sports……………….
      Who knew you could take it this far?
      Mr. Castillo, like many here, I think you should be ashamed…..
      But UNLIKE many people here, I KNOW you don’t give a damn what all us ‘average folks’ think! Narcisistic Sociopaths NEVER do!

    • burntanne

      If you’re being facetious, John, you already know. But the fact is, the man said it’s a prep school / after high school injury. It is not defense-related.

  • josh

    If your a combat vet, you should be taken care of for the rest of your life. Arguing who should get what percent of what is bullcrap and exactly what the crooked politicians want us to do while they take million dollar vacations on the tax payers dime. If we add up the 150 million dollars we gave to Egypt a few months ago, the foreign aid we waste, and the billions we have spent on garbage wars for bankers, we could afford a decent healthcare system not to mention lifetime veterans care.

    • http://www.facebook.com/msgpcastle Paul Castle

      Just the 100 million the president is wasting on his current vacation would go a long way in getting top services for our wounded vets. He however sent his daughters to Mexico on spring break under the guise of social work in a small village. 51 secret service men and women accompanied and what was that bill. The real crime to the whole thing is the WH insisted that the media not publish the fact that the trip even took place.

      • Mark Samuels

        Get off the politics, Bush took his family to Africa twice, and his daughters travelled the world at our expense. It’s not an Obama problem, the problem is people like you who think its one party causing the problem, when its both pulling the wool over your eyes, and those like you.

    • burntanne

      To do that – which is the sane thing to do – would disrupt SOMEbody’s agenda SOMEwhere, or SOME GROUP – and “they” can’t have that now, can they!! This country is ALLLLLLLLmost Socialist, and the next step is Communist, and no capitalism / free enterprise. A government that will give you what you want will also take it away at their discretion.

  • J N

    Go get them Duckworth. More people like you.please. Now one for Welfare and Disability please….

  • Marilyn

    Congresswoman Duckworth ceretainly read him the riot act!
    Shame on you Mr. Castillo!

  • Cheryl Newcomb

    What outrages me most about these despicable people is their total lack of remorse or accountability. No morals, ethics, decency or respectability to be found in them. Totally devoid of any redeeming qualities whatsoever. The more I watch these scum testify the more disgusted I get and the more I realize just how far gone this Country actually is. Shame doesn’t even begin to describe it.

  • retired soldier

    Although I don’t agree with Rep. Duckworth’s political leanings, as a retired soldier I thank her for her service and sacrifices. She needs to go after more of these sleaze bags cheating the taxpayers with their phony disability claims.

  • Tony

    Well done, now she should go, one at a time, and speak with all our ‘Chicken Hawk’ leaders who put her and all the military in harms way, yet have never served 1 minute themselves, Cheney, Rove, et all, and then the AWOL bush president.

    • Christopher Koda

      Funny you don’t mention Clinton, and Biden et, al.

  • blackdog

    if this guy was a contractor, the company that he worked for should pay for his little hurt foot.
    they talk about the back log and fraud i think an easy fix would be to just look at the claims comming in , if the said person served in the military he/she gets their benifits. if it is a contractor you throw his paper work out.
    these contract companies get 10’s of million of dollars if not billions dto do work in war zones. they should be the ones paying for injuries of their employees

  • RITA


  • Sammie

    Wow…. that was awesome. Who IS this woman?

  • bigmama

    Ms Duckworth is rude and not a fair judge. She already has her mind made up and is not willing to hear the complete answers to her own questions. I am sorry that she was injured and that she still suffers. Her expectation that others that don’t “look” disabled should be better at handling life on their own, is misplaced and unwarranted. I knew a man that looked perfectly healthy. He had been in a car accident and hit his head. He had short term memory problems. People talking to him would never know that until they were around him for a protracted period of time. He got fired from a job as a stock-boy, because he would be sent to get something from the store warehouse, and after he arrived, couldn’t remember what he was sent for or even by whom he was sent. It is attitudes like Ms Duckworth’s that have keep people like him in poverty all of their adult life.

    • Richard Gordon SSG(RET)

      Hey Big Mama. Your’e an IDIOT!!!!!!! SHe had both her legs amputated and one arm SEVERLY messed up for our country. AND WHAT IS IT THAT YOU”VE SACRIFICED LATELY? I consider her a Very accurate judge. Being injured in a car accident is no- where as traumatic as being injured in combat operatons. AS I said Ms. Duckworth is MY HERO in every sense of the word. Hey Big Mama . Go on a verbal diet and KNow what your answering BEFORE you Write..

  • jennifer martinez

    Thank you Rep. Duckworth for your service to this country then and now! You are a heroine in every aspect of the word and I salute you!

  • Just me

    I have to side with the opposite of Duckworth. We can not tell if a person is really suffering. Duckworth may be missing legs and whatnot. But mentally, most that come back from war, are never the same. Including Duckworth. And she knows this all too well. I should know, my uncle was in Vietnam as a MEDIC, became a Paramedic and Capt. of it as well. But he was not well inside. He commited suicide. So, for someone like Duckworth, she can kiss my grits.

    • Michael Obrien

      Wow, did you READ the article?
      Mr. Castillo gets your ‘nod,’ but Congresswoman Duckworth is wrong? Really?
      You shame the memory of your Uncle, his PTSD and the tragic end to his life.
      He stood for everything Mr. Castillo now takes advantage of, at the expense of all who have died, as a result of their service and those alive, injured or not!
      Your Uncle sounds like he was a very giving, compassionate man. I’m a truly sorry his ‘demons’ got the best of him.
      Another ‘old Medic’……….Rest well, my unknown[to me]friend!

    • burntanne

      That’s the reason for the video suggestion, Laura. Have you been listening? Keep giving these good-for-nothings your checks through your tax dollars? Do you really want that? Why not just bring him home with you and take care of him that way. REALLY? mm mm mm

  • Too Loose La Drek

    TOUCHE Ms. Duckworth! What a dirtbag this whining fool is to suggest he had any injury. I hope his foot really hurts in HELL.

  • disqus_WmfoiOfJ1r

    OR you can make the penalties for fraud a lot worse so that people would think twice before lying, cheating and stealing. DUH.

    • burntanne

      Go on, disqus!! I totally agree with this statement. They need to do just that!

  • Trop10

    Not bad… we have Ms. Duckworth instead of Joe Walsh the dead-beat dad… a trade I would endorse a thousand times over….. Walsh said that Ms. Duckworth wasn’t a real hero during their campaign….

  • Dennis Mullins

    YOU GO GIRL!!!

  • Mike

    Go Tammy! Way to destroy this absolute WUSS!

  • Irish Cream

    It would be “easier” if there were more jobs like mine just before i retired. unfortunately, the people in charge of my job wanted it discontinued. It was an experiment they didn’t like because they had to work too much harder and didn’t want their authority/method questioned. I was a nurse who went into the SWS to find and bring in homeless veterans. i would have spent more time fighting with the powers that be in the VA than in getting the veterans benefits they deserved except that i spent a lot of my off duty time and money of my own to ensure that justice was served. the vets and some of the VA people loved what i did but overall, i grew older and burned out so i retired. my position was retired as well and SWS took it back over. As a nurse, i could make judgment calls as to who had valid claims and rush them through my back door of contacts…causing much ire with some and a lot of open flak…but it worked and i still get emails from some vets who climbed out of the hole they were in…God Bless them. People in the basement can make a difference if they perserve. I pray they will…..

  • Danny

    She points out the delays in processing claims for today’s Vets, but doesn’t consider we shouldn’t be fighting other people’s wars when we can’t afford to pay for treatment and disabilities for Viet Nam Vets. Would she be willing to forego benefits for Iraq and Afghanistan Vets until Viet Nam Vets get thier benefits? Everyone wants theirs, screw the other guy.

  • John Fletcher

    Way to Go Rep Duckworth. We need more like you helping to run the country. Please continue to expose those who want to take advantage of the system to better themselves. God Bless you and Yours.

  • Ginnie

    What a shame this man is for his state!!!!

  • J. Steward

    THANK YOU Ms. Duckworth!!!!!! This couldn’t have been said any other way or any better. I retired from the miltary after 21 years and I was asked no less than 10 times “did you claim your disability?” My answer of “no” was met with shock and amazement. People offered to help me file with VA because “you had to have hurt yourself during that time!” Sure I did but the military took care of me when I told them what was wrong. Guys like this suck because I have seen guys/girls really injured that deserve disability.

  • An Honorable Veteran

    Congresswoman Duckworth, a hero, took down a scumbag and called him out! His children should be ashamed of their father, his wife should be ashamed of her husband, he should be ashamed of himself and as a veteran I am ashamed of him. He is the lowest of the low.

  • disqus_Ns975hbIK8

    I’m a physician. I hate to tell you people this, but then entire social security disability system is a disgrace. Attorney’s are primarily to blame. In my humble estimation, I would say only 1 out of 5 people on disability actually need or deserve it. The rest are either completely faking it, or exaggerating their pains. Plus these people will occasionally get real jobs and work off record, “paid cash.” and it’s not just the disability social security payments that’s important, but they get free healthcare for life.

    • burntanne

      He’s telling the truth, people. I’ve seen it myself because I worked at the State Agency for quite a number of years. We have even had pregnant women call the office and ask for a “disability application” – not knowing that’s not how it works – and it was with honest glee that I had to tell them, ‘ma’am, pregnancy is not disabling and won’t last a year. You won’t be eligible.” I just wish we had a whole roomful of Ms. Duckworths! I hope you keep up the good work there, Congresswoman Duckworth!!

    • Jean

      I don’t think so—I am on SSDI, and i sure don’t get free healthcare. Tell me where to live so I can get it.

    • Greg

      I am also on SSDI and I don’t get free healthcare either. I pay over $100 a month for Medicare and am still liable for %10 of my medical bills.

      • Herb

        Greg, I’m so sorry to inform you that SSDI stands for “Social Security Death Index”. Might I ask how you have returned from the dead???

        • Greg

          Don’t be a smartazz Herb. You know I meant Social Security Disability

    • Amy

      Its the same for workmens comp. No one checks. Daughter works on them and does catch some fakes but so many out there. Thank God for video cams – can catch a lot who hobble on canes when they apply and then climb roofs – paint houses and then fake mental illness too.

    • el valiente

      I agree 100%, but I don’t agree that it is the attorneys to blame. In fact, as far as I can tell, it is the doctors who are to blame. For every person getting benefits from disability, there was a doctor somewhere who was willing to sign off that the person was disabled.

    • d1anaw

      I agee. It is as annoying as hell to see people who are “disabled” but can do ANYTHING other than get a job.

    • Greg

      Dear Mr Disqus. Just because you are a physician doesnt mean you are able to access all of a persons mental and physical ailments. What are you? A Podiatrist?…lol….. Also your use of the term “these people” as describing patients on SS is very condescending, and kind of pizzes me off!

  • djrachoy

    Thank you, Representative Duckworth, for shaming this fraudulent poser and exposing the pathetic treatment our returning veterans are getting. I hope that your story and powerful words will bring about some change. God Bless You!

  • Julie

    Ms Duckworth….My dad served…My brother served…My Son now serves…I thank you for your service and your words of wisdom….America needs more Duckworths !!

  • dave

    I am a Vietnam vet, and I am receiving 20% compensation from the war. It was very hard to get that 20%. How did this Castillo idiot get 30%, and how does he live with himself. What a phoney! Good job Rep. Duckworth. Keep up the good work, and thank you for your service. I am very sorry for your injuries.

  • Beverly

    Wow!! She wore his butt out!! She handled the business on this issue. Big brownie points for Rep. Duckworth.

  • Lori

    WOW…well said M’am. Well said.

  • dino

    BS! If you have as many people processing claims as you have recruiting folks for the Service, you will eliminate backlog, and, dishonesty!

    • burntanne

      We don’t, though, Laura. Every time a business closes, half of those people leave their job sites and head straight for SS. This puts an extreme overload on the people making the decisions. And if they hire new people, it takes months for them to be able to make decisions on their own. I’ve worked at the State Agency; I know this. And the backlog at Disability for years was overwhelming, and now is probably worse.

  • Absolute Truthiness

    I have an evil ex husband who has gamed the system since 1990. He claimed a back injury and got out of the mililtary because of it, but…there was no incident. No injury. Nothing. He also tells those he knows he was in Iraq. (He was not) and that he was in VietNam (he was not). He claims a scar on his stomach was from a ‘gook’ bayonette (his words, not mine), but it was from gall bladder surgery.
    The fact that this fraud collects money from the government every month still is galling to me. I’ve tried reporting to the administration that handles vet disability but they don’t want to hear.

    • ycplum

      Video tape him doing activities that he is prevented from doing because of his disability and forward it to the appropriate fraud division.



    • Jean

      If he has scammed the system for 23 years, why have you waited so long to do something about it? By not calling him out on it, and reporting it to the proper authorities you are enabling his ongoing fraud

    • Suck it bitter ex-wife

      Admit it…you’re just bitter because you’re no longer getting the Wang.

    • larry kelley

      Want to know why they don’t want to listen to you?? Because so many women with hormones raging thru their heads and hearts each month call the VA and make up EVIL stories just to jam an honest mans compensation & since he is sleeping with a much more beautiful, nicer woman than she is. They are wise at VA to the scams that women pull to try to lash out at a veteran after getting dumped for whatever reason. They have phone recordings which can be obtained via FOIA where these vixens and wenches call VA and feed them a line of malicious BS. Women do stuff that men never know about since they are as sneaky as the cats that they mimic.

  • ali

    OK, he is a bastard and a LIAR and COWARD.
    SO WHAT CAN/WILL happen to him civilly or criminally and will his government contract continue ???????



  • Charles Brown

    im a vet of nam, and it,s about time someone exposed these pretenders,stealing valor, for things they never did or see. thank you Rep Duckworth

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Perry/1004328027 John Perry

    What a wonderful person to have representing all Americans.
    What a wonderful example of America’s brave Warriors.
    America can never repay people like Congresswoman Duckworth for their bravery.
    When honest, caring people speak the truth from their heart they need no aids to keep them on message.
    I hope you libs realize she spoke extemporaneously and honestly from her heart for a long time WITHOUT the aid of a teleprompter.

  • lid

    Disability is so unmonitored its 100 times worse then welfare with the amount of fraud


      YOU ARE 100% RIGHT!!

  • Pamiss45

    First, Rep. Duckworth…thank you for serving our country. Your sacrifice is immeasureable.
    Secondly, Thank you for telling it like it is for real veterans who are injured and need help.
    Third, Keep going after these bogus veterans’ claims. They need to be investigated and they need to be made to reimburse the US Government for their false claims.
    You are a Hero in so many ways!



  • PMM

    She was a real pistol, and boy did she put him in his place……………I don’t think he realized she had lost her legs.

  • Burntanne

    So…..what was the outcome with that deadbeat? Is he still going to get benefits he DOES NOT deserve,,,,or what?

  • MzB

    If it Quacks Like a Duckworth, You Better Listen. BRAVO For You Mrs.Duckworth for Calling Out an UNDESERVING LIAR & SCAMMER.

    No Disrespect BTW.

  • heaven

    I am sorry but , I have to disagree with her . You cannot tell someone what their level of pain is ! Every person has their own level of pain and maybe his is worse than other peoples . Also if he got hurt in the military then why isn’t he being paid for that to begin with ? I mean come on anyone that serves in the military and comes back with an injury should not and SHOULD NOT have to go through all kinds of heck to get a disability check …..

  • Anna Garman Norris

    LOL she is fantastic! She’s gained a fan 😀

  • perryrants

    she should have taken her foot and pointed to it after she said it hurt!!

  • perryrants

    combat/war veterans are very different from those that just served in NJ.

  • strayaly@aol.com

    First thank you for your service to the USA,second thank you for exposing those who whould cheat the Va system. My self a vet with 20years active have never visited a va center for any injuries recieved because I felt they were not serious enough to file claims. I’m an older vet having served three tours in Korea.Your lecture to Mr Castillo made me feel I should return my commendation medal and two Meterious service medals along several others I recieved. MSgt USAF ret.

  • mosephus

    I was putting away some flags after a ceremony at our local veterans park when I overhead a young fellow telling a buddy how he had just gotten 100% disability for PTSD. this was in 96 or 97. After storing the flags I left and the same guy asked me if I knew a fellow from when I was on active duty. during the conversation I learned that the guy had never deployed anywhere, had never been in any combat or serioius events, but knew how to beat the system. I did not get his name so I was unable to raise the BS flag with the VA but he is the kind that ruins it and costs funds better spent on those in real need.

  • KW

    Preppy school makes you a veteran? For once I support a democrat. That little girl is a hero.

  • Jean

    Good for her!

  • southernmom169

    This kind of stuff goes on all the time. I know of a couple who ‘went out on disability’ because of their ‘backs’, yet they’ve been to Hawai’i a couple of times, been on several cruises, neither of them use a cane, or wear a back brace, or anything…the wife knew how to work the system. All the while my husband’s aunt who has Neuropathy in both of her legs, is diabetic, and can hardly walk, was told for 2 years by the disability board or who ever, that she needs to get a job and support herself because she didn’t qualify for benefits. She has since been given benefits, plus the two years she had to put up with red tape.
    It sickens me to see people who truly need help, be denied, and those who don’t deserve the help, always are the first in line for benefits.
    It’s the same way with welfare!!! SHAME ON THOSE PEOPLE for taking away from those who truly need the help!
    Thank you, Representative for you valiant service to our country!!!

  • Independent80951

    How phoney is it to run a political campaign strictly based on your injuries sustained in Iraq?
    I have respect for her for her service. Lost some respect for her with her horrible track record running the Illinois VA (law suits still pending against her). Lost any remaining respect when she ran her campaign strictly by promoting her injuries at every opportunity instead of her “qualificaitons”.

  • Independent80951

    Let’s see if we have this clear: Liberals are screaming about people scamming the veterans’ disability system (and righfully so), yet none of them scream about people scamming our social programs, to a tune of over $100 Billion cost to the taxpayers annually?

    SSI “disability” is nothing but a scamm these days!

    Bottom lIne: you can’t have it both ways! if you demand VA disability reform and/or cuts then the same should be demanded with Fraud and Waste in social programs! Tell Harry Reid, Pelosi and OBama to stop blocking those cuts!





    • Mark Samuels

      Get off the Liberal rant, just as many Conservatives fall into the same boat. It’s people like you pitting one side against the other that has our country running as a disfunctional unit. I’m a Vet, and most of you clowns claim Liberals never serve, wake up, were no different than you, its the politicians!

  • legalnotificatioin

    This is a politician I can like…Well spoken..

  • Jim

    I work with veterans every day and see sooooo much abuse of the system. If the public knew how much of their tax dollars go to veterans health care for things that did not occur while in the military they would be shocked and revolted.

  • Kathy


    My brother is a disabled vet but you can’t tell when you look at him but he has permanent brain and nerve damage. He falls often with little use of his righ arm and hand. He didn’t make up these injuries or pick something from his past. I am proud of my brother being a CB in the Navy and preparing the airstrips and building for military use. I will never experience the man I once knew as my fun loving brother. He has days he can’t even rememberwho he is.
    SHAME ON THAT MAN!!! My brother can’t even work because of his memory loss, mood swings and nerve damage.

  • tucsontrek

    Braulio Castillo, you are officially a douche.

  • Sammy

    She lost almost 100% of the use of her right arm and has a 20% disability and this jerk sprained an ankle playing football and gets 30%? Yeah, something needs to be fixed alright. Also, to Ms Duckworth, God bless you for being willing to serve our great nation. Thanks.

  • Bev Thurner

    Good for you, Duckworth!!!! There aren’t enough people in politics who are willing to speak up for what’s right. You are the true heroine in this matter. Castillo and his gang should hide their heads in shame.

  • Jim

    My buddy and I were at a local bar one evening. This obnoxious know it all (explitive) was berating a couple of fellows, one who had just got home from tour in Iraq. He just needed to express his thoughts of how anybody must be an idiot for joining the military. He was then promptly asked what he did for work. His answer ” I don’t work. I’m on disability”. To which my buddy proclaimed “Gee, that must be nice. I’m only handicapped, I work at IBM”. My buddy lives in a wheelchair with a busted neck. Shut him up. End of story.

  • CathyV

    Thank You Rep. Duckworth for your service. And Thank You for calling out this POS liar.

  • Kathy Bradshaw

    Rep. Duckweed is right on, AWESOME! KUDOS TO HER FOR TELLING IT LIKE IT IS!



  • Marinusl

    Having spent 30 years in the military, I was asked when I retired if I had any disabilities. I said no, although I could have listed many things and qualified for a pretty good disability percentage. But I didn’t. It really makes me so mad when I see people who were in the military for a short period of time, not even in combat, that come up with disabilities, such as this Castillo. Anybocy caught scamming like he did should be required to pay back every cent and spend a long time working in a VA rehabilitation center as community service. Way to go Rep. Duckworth, thank you for your service and sacrifices.

  • John

    He shpould be thrown in jail and made to repay any additional compensation he received.

  • shebasue

    Bravo. This is the problem with all govt. programs. Too many people scamming the system. If we could take away the benefits from those who don’t deserve them, we could really take care of those who deserve and need them. Whether we’re talking about veterans benefits, welfare, Medicaid, etc., we have to skimp for those deserving the help because of the greedy, lying cheats scamming the system.

  • d1anaw

    There’s a way to shut this guy down almost immediately. It won’t address the overall problem, but it will take care of him….take away his contracts.

  • Don Grundke

    Thank You for your service to us. It is sad, that we let these people get benefits. I got hurt with a greater injury than him. I can’t get VA benefits, because I wait

    ted to long and my income , even though retired, is to much for the VA. Don Grundke, .American Legion Chaplain, Ontario County NY

    • Mark Samuels

      Same problem, income to high to use the VA, even though when I left college to enlist in 72, I was promised medical and dental for life. Treating Vets like the Indians, give and take away.

      • Stan

        They never promised youyou free medical and dental for life…ever.Don’t blame them for your misunderstanding.Be happy you have an income.If you DIDN’T they would help more.

  • rosemarienoa

    There are also many Vietnam Vets who dont get benefits because of the horrendous amount of paper work that’s involved!!!!

  • Jana Young

    I can’t remember the last time I saw something come out of Washington that made me as proud as Rep. Duckworth did today! BRAVO!

    And SHAME on you Mr. Castillo. SHAME!

  • BrianW517

    She for got to mention Sen. John Karry who has a phony Purple Heart!?!?

  • Name

    CASTILLO is a coward and a and lie’s they should make he paid back all that money he lied to get and not give any government contracts
    i am sure his kids are proud of him being a war hero of the rich prep school football game wow that prop school tures out a real cowatd

  • tom

    Don’t jump on the bandwagon to fast. Tammy served and I thank her for that and sorry for her injuries. But tammy is also gaming the system in that she is 100% plus disabled which she should be Making over $4000.00 monthly from VA disability comp.. But she is gaming the system in that she is currently a Lt. Col. in the Ill national guard knowing that she can never be deployed to a war zone which is the purpose of the national guard. She is being paid over a $1000.00 a month for 2 days of drill which most of the time she does make up and actually never goes to the drill hall and when she retires from the guard, she will pull down over $20,000.00 a year in military retired pay knowing full well she will never deploy and is only taking up a slot that a soldier could get who could deploy. Other soldiers with less injuries have been forced to take retirment because they can not perform their military duties but she gets to stay for some unknown reason.

  • martin

    He is like a lot of old folks who use any pain to get a handicap sign for their car
    then jump out and use a cane running to the store…..he should be shame , shame

  • rini22

    My problem is what too them so long . I see it almost every time I go shopping someone parked in a handicapped spot and jogging into the store. And the problem with that they have to triple the handicapped spots so now other people have to walk a longer distance. And another problem is how many other people are out there using minority status (not just race) to get federal loans and benefits because the use a figure head that can get these benefits and shafts the honest working people

  • dream catcher

    You are a great person, thank you for your service in all capacities..

  • Jack

    These are the leeches of American society, the IRS scumbags who think that we, the the taxpayers, are are nothing but scum and should be treated with contempt without impinity. But best of all is the Triumverate of Lerner, Milller and Shulman–kinda gives you the hebrewjeebies, doesnt it? God bless Issa.

  • Jack

    impunity, sorry.

  • Strat

    Good girl….

  • agayoume

    Kudos to you Ms Duckworth. However it won’t make any difference to these “I don’t fart looking elites”.

  • donald stephens

    Don’t know what type of representative she is on other issues, but on this one she has my undeniable support! As a veteran who knows that there are veterans out there who are NOT getting their benefits yet, its good to know that there is someone championing for those, like herself, with disabling injuries. Calling him and others like him, out on his fraudulence is long overdue. Good to know that an actual “troop” called him on it!! Good for you Rep.Duckworth and thanks for your service then and now!!

  • Amy

    God Bless this woman for speaking honesty to this jerk and Im sure hes only one of many.

  • Nate

    good for you calling out a person that abuses the system. As far as the “weapons procurement system” costing more its a matter of the procurement people duing due deligence and watching the contractors closer and giving a darn about what they are doing.

  • tcdesalvo

    Freedberg got it exactly right. The VA, in my experience, is doing one hell of a job considering financial restraints, demands on the system, and needs of veterans. I am personally thankful for all the assistance provided. Unfortunately any time a program is initiated with good intent, there are plenty of low lifes more than happy to game the system. Donning a uniform does not ensure one’s integrity.

  • Spaz Exmarine

    I know an attorney here in cook county who claims he is a disabled vet and he collects disability- fraud! He is also a deadbeat dad but doesnt put that title after his name, just DAV. Shame on you Mr. Michael D Gerhardt!!

  • big sam

    I cannot tell you the amount of people i know that did the same thing this guy did,they did serve but the injuries are pre service and they get away with it.I blame the VA not the person.

  • rmpblue

    Duckworth is just as much a ‘gamer’ of ‘this great nation’, and the systems that pay for their stupidity…

    It is not heroic to go into another country with a vastly superior army and rape, pillage, kill, murder, and destroy their place of life all in the name of what your criminal government says is right…

    The lives Duckworth and others like her took are far worse off than she is and in fact she ‘bought’ her condition by her very own willfull decisions..!

    No military person is in any way anything even remotely similar to a ‘hero’..!

  • Mark Samuels

    This is a prime example of what delays claims processing at the VA, Vets claiming disabilities from non service related injuries. In addition, we still have Vets from WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, who have applied EVERY year for disability, hoping for the best, and delaying the rest. Time to aid deserving Vets, and help the VA process claims, write your politicians and have them change these foolish guidelines.

  • LarrySingleton

    My first thought was of some governmment goons or local Nazis telling them they couldn’t do that.

  • UH34D

    I have to chime in here. I know a veteran who served in Korea 1970/71. During a intrabase sofball game, he slid into seconf base and broke his ankle. He applied to the VA for a disability rating when he was separeated from active duty. He was awarded a 0% rating.
    Fast forward to 2012, he applies for an increase of the disability rating for the ankle injury. The VA says fine, here’s 10% but, in addition, this veterans claim also included one for PTSD. Apparently, he claimed the ankle injury had a detrimental effect on his life, and had caused him all kinds of mental anguish. Now mind you, this veteran had never been to, never entered, never spoke with anybody at the VA since 1971, and was never on any medications to help with this depression, never had a psyhe eval until 2012, and still isn’t on any meds. Low and behold, the VA grants him a 60% rating for his PTSD! And I saw the award letter from the VA. I know combat veterans, some with Purple Heart’s, and they aren’t receiving 60% for their PTSD. 60% for PTSD for a broken ankle from playing softball! Am I overreacting here?

  • Blind Intellect

    GOOD! We with REAL disabilities don’t need you whiners making life that much harder for us!


    NOT TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT, You brought it up, HOW MANY more Weapons
    do we need? All the weapons contracters are getting richer and our Country poorer!

  • warrenbty

    The guy sits there with a stupid look on his face what a jackass. He needs to stop screwing hard working Americans out of contracts and compete like the rest, disability from a football injury that never happened, What a maroon.


      please use spellcheck

      • warrenbty

        I am sorry Pepsiguy, I do not have my spell check set to dumassese… I do believe that is the language you speak? As for spell check if you are refering to MAroon, that is the intended word. Moron is a personal attack where as Maroon is a joke for anyone that watched bugs bunny. Maroon.

  • republicanprincess

    it was a thing of beauty…..too bad she cant question the IRS people….

  • Mike

    God bless you Tammy Duckworth! Finally, somebody in politics taking a stand on what’s right!

  • Thomas Metych

    Apparently he’s Politically Connected to the Chicago den of Thieve’s in the White House.

  • jaba

    Just another example of poor planning when deciding to go to war. Two wars created twice the problem!

  • Calmeismal

    Yes, Duckworth is a hero and we need more of her type/character in congress, but her party is the party of big government that includes an endemic component of fraud and waste. E.g. The president! Your analysis of the catch 22 component is flawed. Are you saying that productivity and efficiency is impossible in government? Are you saying that government can’t do more with less? Bull shit, literally every small business depends on efficiency and productivity for their very survival 24/7.

    • Ran1976

      both party are for big government. republicans try to enact laws telling people what they can and can’t do in private. you can’t get married being an example

  • bev

    Right on, he is trying to get something for nothing, My cousin was burned 80% of his body and is still haveing problems with va help. This jerk shpuld be shot……..

  • kyanite7

    Thanks Tammy
    May God Bless You

  • Ralph Ostuni

    I was a dog handler in the Army1967-1970 and did my tours in Viet Nam also had a heart transplant from Agent orange ruining my organs, Heart, kidneys and I only get 40 % disability was told I had PTSD 8 years ago and still waiting to get a raise in disability

  • jsujet

    You tell him Tammy! Dirtbag.

  • flasking man

    hey braulio, log on to sukmydeek dot calm,essay

  • Logical

    Just a thought! If a person has been amputated of their body part, the body part that has been amputated logically there will be no feeling or senses in the part of the body that has been amputated and lost. A person that has not been amputated can feel and the degree can vary if still intact to the body. I just wanted to share a thought.

    • Christopher Koda

      Can I explain something to you. Even though the limb is gone the feelings especially the lst that was felt keeps coming back. It is called phantom pain. So yes she and the other amputees will still feel sensations.

  • dennisandco

    I hope you stand up against the POTUS as strongly as you do here . We need more representatives like you .

  • Brakeman

    As long as there really ARE sad cases that have to be tended to,…there will also be these schmux, weaseling every free dollah, swearing they did ” nothing wrong”,…There are ways to win a war with drones and well placed boom boom….and ways to “do it the manly way”, and get people maimed, killed, or PTSD`d …..Well, stop believing only what you want to believe,open your senses,and become awake.

  • Crazy Ray

    Why can’t we have congressional members like her in NJ?

  • Purpleshell

    Will this Castillo person now be investigted? I hope so and I hope he has to pay back the money he gained fraudulently. He is setting a horrific example for his children. Shame on him.
    I liked the way she was so sweet during the interview, as if she was on his side and then she let him have it.

  • Ltpar

    Good for Congresswoman Duckworth. While being a conservative, she sounds like the kind of Democrat I could support, especially as a Veteran. This example that she uses is just a drop of water in the ocean of government corruption, abuse and mismanagement at all levels. This is just one Contractor, imagine what the professional Corporations are doing? The entire mess needs to be hit with a buzz saw and brought under control. Your tax dollars at work fellow Americans. Semper Fidelis.

  • frank

    I know a medical product that will that 95 of foot pain away I will be glad to prove it
    just contact me were ever u r

  • ace ventura

    I saw this entire grilling unfold. After the first minute, when pain was brought into the equation, I was actually expecting Ms. Duckworth to get out of chair and gradually walk past her fellow Congressmen/Women. Then stand right in fronnt of Mr. Castillo, braces and everything, and say ‘You had a sprained ankle? Guess what? I lost my legs in a war! So don’t you give me any crap that you “know” what it’s like, because you don’t! You have ALL your limbs, sir, I don’t’ Then turns and walks back to her seat.

  • Bill

    You might be surprised how many get disability for the littlest things. I know a couple that got it for haveing to run in thier combat boots. Boo Hoo. I did it for years and got nothing. But thats the new army.

  • ginnarr

    wow i got a twisted ankle on a 20 mile march. back in the 50’s . had to go ahead and march on it,,, we knew better than to make excuses.. and i missed out on a 30 percent claim , damn, can i file it now… i can proable fake a good hurt, oh oh ouch,,, that hurts
    gotta to to the v.a. tomorro. oh dont worry forlks, been in korea and nam both… i was one of the lucky ones, just some minor scrapes… maybe that was because i was running, ducking, hideing, and blasting away at anything that moved… come to think of it , it wasnt much fun….

  • Dennis

    Everybody that has to deal with the VA knows they ain’t worth a damn.

  • les

    Rep. Duckworth, Thank you!

  • Danny Roberts

    WOW. What a Patriot!

  • christiner1961

    Thank you for your service and sacrifice Rep. Duckworth. Maybe you can help other disabled vets get the benefits they deserve and have been waiting for – some since Viet Nam!

  • bob

    Sounds like John Kerry

  • Richard Kiene

    I’m confused.If he was never active duty or reserve ,why did the VA process his claim?.I’ve nothing but contempt for a person as vile as this.
    USMC 67-71 DaNang 69
    US Army 86-93 Somolia 93

  • dickvipp

    Regarding the mess that the laws have left to the VA to contend with, Wall Street Journal ran a story describing a new disability rating – 0% disabled! Now what is that, other than just another way to jam up the waiting line even further? Just what is “0% disabled” supposed to get anybody?? And, more than half of the current applications are not new applications for benefits, they are for additional benefits for people already receiving benefits.

  • Cheri

    Rep. Duckworth—You hit the nail on the head very eloquently. This should be required listening every day through our national media outlets. Thanking you for your service doesn’t go far enough. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again for calling this selfish individual out.

  • Jack

    While all those abortion rights babes were aplauding Wendy Davis, the Texas queen of filibusters, the real heroine, Tammy Duckworth, was delivering a scorching dressing down to a big, strapping phony who was given a 30% diability rating from the VA for a minor injury sustained playing sports, not in combat as he swore he did. You have to listen to her excoriating comments to believe them, and see the kind of life-altering injuries she sustained in real combat. Brava Miss Duckworth. You are a real credit to your country. PLEASE DON’T MISS IT!

  • RhymesWithWitch

    They lost me at… “But there’s a deeper policy problem here …”

    No there isn’t. This should be black and white… open and shut. Shame on the posers.

  • Grace

    I agree with Rep. Duckworth. Though, this article does fail to clarify some things. Rep Duckworth is receiving 20% disability for her right arm because the injuries to her legs were more serious. What ever injury is most serious will receive the highest disability rating and every injury after that will be added up in halves. For example say she only lost one leg and got 50%(I am guessing) disability rating for that injury. Since the injury to her arm is less severe then the one to her leg she only gets 20% for it. If she had only had the injury to her arm she would have received 40% percent for it. I am just making a statement because some people (if they are not paying close attention) may believe that she is only getting 20% for ALL of her injuries. I’m very sure she is receiving 100% disability as she should be. I am not defending Mr. Castillo at all. What I am saying is just food for thought:-)

  • indespes2012a

    Rep. Duckworth, thank you for your services and sacrifices for this country. As for Mr. Castillo, where is your honor as a man with two b#++s between your legs. The least you can do is to apologize to the US people, now!

  • j

    Your outrage is justified and very much so. Actually it is a pleasure to see such outrage. My point is that I am 61, worked for a government agency for 39 years, 8 months and 3/4/5 days. The IRS has abused, has forced employees to do what IRS management wants for fear of retribution, yep that is true. The dept I worked in stated that every year there was a need for a face to face meeting. This entailed people from everywhere meeting at one place. It had to have cost the IRS 75000/80000 dollars every year! The meeting was worthless. My thought is that this was done because of a massive re-org and NTEU said this has to happen (might want to investigate NTEU). If an employee did not attend the f2f conference then the manager would weigh that in evaluating the employees performance. Yes, it’s true.

  • Dee

    Good for her ,He was put in his place,

  • dfinch

    I watched this interview while it was happening and she gave him no mercy. When she asked him about his feet hurting I wondered where she was taking this because she was talking so sweet to him. Then she sucker punched him. All I could say was…”Oh Yea…..” I hope she’s one that won’t sell her sole….

  • Wes Mallory

    If this congresswoman ever decides to run for president, she has my vote.

  • mike

    there are scammers everywhere,,,, and many flaunt their rewards,, while laughing at responsible workers in this country,,, for the last 5 years,,,, many retirees ,,with pensions and severence pay,,, have also received unemployment for 2 yrs,…. and after that,,, have been placed on social security disability if they are in their late 50,,s,,, ( with no doctor support or any medications for problems ) under the claim of UNMARKETABLE,,, meaning no one would hire them,,,, even though,,, they never looked for work in 1 st place,,, because they took early retirement,,,, lol great country,,, thanks Obama,,,,

  • doug

    Thank you Rep Duckworth, you did good.

  • George Walker

    Wonderful Rep. Duckworth. I commend you for your words to Mr. Castillo who makes a claim for VA benefits. I sure hope the VA looks at his file just a bit closer and makes proper adjustments to his status

  • practicalnomad

    You’re a dishonest man Castillo. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to contract with your company. Potential results speak for themself.

  • John

    First I want to preface by saying that while many members of my family served I did not. I am saying this because I do not want to give anyone the wrong impression. I just wanted to put this into perspective. 25 years ago I was pushed off a roof. I broke both ankles. It took a while but eventually I healed. A few years later I sprained my right ankle running down the stairs of my tenement at 3 O’clock in the morning because the fire alarm was going off. I healed from that as well. It’s been many years since I had any ankle pain. Now maybe I am just very fortunate healing up well from such injuries. But I walk a few miles every day and have no ankle pain and I’m 53. I do NOT regard myself as disabled in any way though two different doctors offered to help me get certified as disabled. I spend 10 hours a day standing on my feet in a factory with concrete floors and yet I don’t have any problems. Only the most dishonest of doctors would certify this person as disabled and to dilute the reputation of disabled vets as he has should be a crime not something for which he is rewarded as obviously he has.
    I don’t know Rep. Duckworth. Until I saw this video I never heard of her. I’m also not a democrat. That said, I would not mind seeing the likes of her occupy a more prominent position in Washington. We need more of her kind and much less of what we have been getting in recent decades.

  • Pixie86

    People Like Castillo make me ill to my stomach. Most of my family are Vets. My father contracted Dengue Fever. For those who don’t know what dengue fever is it’s a illness that is painful and can depending how long it takes for doctors to diagnose alter ones immune system. One of my uncles messed up his leg while in service. They don’t ask for aid for happened to them they say let the new Vets have that help because they need it not us. For someone like him to use the system as he has there should be jail time. Good men and women put their lives on the line for our freedom. I might not agree with how this war started but I do stand in support of those brave souls who stare down death everyday so I have my freedom. I hope they put his tail in a cell and strip him of everything he con-ed out of that meant to help those who come home broken from war. BTW I am not a vet just a Milatary brat.

  • mmmmikkimac

    Castillo: another GOP moron clogging the system

  • Bill

    It shouldn’t be that hard to figure out.Make a list of priorities taking care of COMBAT WOUNDED first.After them comes NEW Vets .People should beware of the PTSD claims for serveral reasons.1.They are very hard to disprove and these vets go to the VA with the same problems they had in childhood now claiming they have PTSD from military service.Its a fine line as there are many who do suffer from PTSD due to the ridiculous policy of having multiple tours.But the majority of these PTSD claims are at least partially exaggerated if not complete fraud.If it was up to me,I would make a military background investigation of anyone before approving a PTSD claim.

  • Emily

    I love the man’s comment at the end. “The time was well spent.” Indeed. It sure was.

  • DODA

    WOW REP Duckworth that was the Greatest Thing I have ever heard. She is my HERO. I’m a Disabled Combat Vet that worked with my Disabilty for 35 years it wasn’t till the Agent Orange kicked in and made so I could work anymore and I hated that I had to make a claim for benifits cause I enlisted in the Army and I will live with what happen to me cause what happen to me was nothing compared to my other Brothers and Sister’s in arms that didn’t come home. God Bless you DUCKWORTH and Welcome Home. AND WELCOME HOME ALL YOU VETS

  • Blind Intellect

    While I’m no veteran (Born blind, so I cannot be. To you who are, I salute you), I have a REAL disability. It’s POSERS like this idiot that make me continue to call out said POSERS so that we, the ones with real disabilities, get what we need.
    Able bodied leeches: You will be laughed at if ever you become honestly disabled. And if that day never comes, you will have people like me who will call out your lazy-ass POSER bullshit.

  • nansea48@aol.com

    You are my hero!!! My brother served in VietNam and was exposed to Agent Orange and developed MS and died after several years…much too young! You are the example par excellance of what war does. My heart breaks for you but you have seen a new vision and are there. I will continue to follow your rising star!!!

  • hcharlenk

    There is a similar problem with all government benefit programs. How much do you spend to prevent waste, fraud and abuse, and how complex do you make the application process, and how rigorous the eligibility requirements, and how far do you go in verifying every statement on the application blank and every piece of documentation, and how often do you require recertification of need? Beyond a certain point, cost rises rises far beyond the amount saved by eliminating fraud, waste and abuse, and the more complex the application process becomes, the fewer applicants in need can navigate the the system to the point of actually receiving the benefits. Case in point: Florida decided to require drug tests of every applicant for public assistance. It cost many millions of dollars, and relatively few applicants were found to be drug abusers.

    • stopspending4

      Were they not found to be drug abusers because they did not take drugs or because the drug abusers stopped applying for welfare?
      I understand the cost/benefit problem BUT – really? The man is given a 30% disability for a twisted ankle in military prep school when he went on to play college football and never served in the military?? Another example is the tax id numbers used by illegals – the IRS sent over 500 tax refunds, at the tune of millions of dollars, to the same Atlanta address. We can not even cross reference the addresses? IRS officials said they had too many tax id apps and could not take time to review them so they just gave EVERYONE a number. Would it not have been more time/cost efficient to weed out the frauds before issuing the numbers and then spending time/money to pay fraudulent refunds? Were is the common sense in our gov employees/leaders?

  • Joe

    I can’t believe he received a 30% and Rep Duckworth only received a 20%. She clearly under Va disability guidelines should be closer to 100% with her injuries.

  • atheistdog

    Well written article showing positives and negatives of change. Passion should not be led to rule change.
    Hopefully, those in true need will receive their benefits.

  • larry kelley

    The proposition put upon us in this article is ridiculous and baseless. This shameless “minority” businessman didn’t game the system, he took advantage of it. Duckworth doesn’t even comprehend that he did violate laws that govern service disabled veteran owned small businesses (SDVOSBs), and should have done her research before making her comments. This creep NEVER served a day of active duty, but based his claim on his military high school ROTC injury. It is idiots like Duckworth who know next to nothing about the existing laws or why new laws should be passed promptly instead of trying to vindicate the stupidity of Congress by failing to see this and many other examples due to the chronic myopia of Congress. Passing a new law to exclude scumbags like this man will NOT make it harder or more costly for legitimate veteran business owners to get the contracts they deserve. That’s the proposition advanced by Mr. Freedberg in this article. Its a nonsense assertion. The new law merely needs to exclude all those who never served a day in active duty. The current requirement of 180 of active duty to qualify for disability is the law that this creep did not violate — BUT that VA itself violated by letting this bastard file a disability claim for an ROTC stint in high school. The issue here is not going to increase the costs to SDVOSBs or complicate their lives — its going to eliminate parasites like this man, Braulio Castillo, from claiming he is a service-disabled veteran unless he actually served in one of the armed service branches. He found a loophole and Congress needs to close it fast. Not just play along since changes of any kind will hurt legitimate veterans — that’s an old DoD tune that’s been played out for decades now. And it makes me wonder why this media source pays guys like Freedberg to write garbage like this that suggests we call good evil and evil good for the sake of expediency and profit-making.

  • Veteran

    I personally know many people on military disability who are not disabled, yet they get the benefits for the disability, work full time jobs and joke about it. It infuriates me, and many times, actually countless times, have lost previous “good friends” because of their criminality. We need to crack down on this. I have also reported several whose cases are now pending. As a retired military Viet Nam veteran, 3 years in Viet Nam, and a bad back, I only draw regular military retirement, conscience and ethics would not allow me to apply, many things I could do not in my specialty in the civilian world. This Lady is great for bringing attention to this. Wish there were more who would report the illegal benefits and those that know those who have falsified their disability with other than ethical medical Dr.’s, would report them!

  • SMIZZLE2013

    In my separation briefing, I was informed by a VA rep that vets can get a service-connected disability rating if a pre-service injury was “exacerbated” by military service. Perhaps that is what this joker Castillo received when the VA counted his ROTC time as Active Duty time…?? What do you think? Should the VA reconsider the “pre-service” injuries “counting” so to speak?

  • Carman05

    Why can’t follow up investigations be done and the ones found to be committing fraud be prosecuted with jail and renumeration at 2 times the amount received?
    Thats how you stop the fakes from taking advantage while making sure the deserving ones get their benefits quickly.
    Oh, sorry I forgot the government doesn’t use common sense……….

  • svfoxhotmail

    She has 20 points for losing both legs? The fact he has 30 for a twisted ankle or whatever he had….. Our system is screwed to hell.
    And he is a government contractor. Awesome!!!!!
    Name one government contractor that isn’t corrupt.


    Was he medically disqualified from attending West Point or did he choose not to go due to his ankle injury. And if he chose to play football in college, is the pain from a sprain in prep school or a college football injury?

  • Vann Wilson

    I’m over 100% + unempyoyable combat vet don’t worry our gov want let uss live in poverty they will give us the same salary/perks congress gets or send a few more gillion to some other nation instead of giving the vet a good life aint our gov good to the vet/family

  • Gina Johnson
  • Gary Epstein

    I have a neighbor who claims Vet disability and owns guns fires them, built a barn and just collects a check.