Phony ‘disabled’ vet gets destroyed by wounded woman warrior

duckworthA Congressional witness claiming to be a disabled veteran for a sprained ankle he allegedly sustained almost 30 years ago, walked into a human buzz saw when confronted with Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who lost both her legs and severely injured her right arm during her service in the Iraq War.

Braulio Castillo appeared before the House Committee for Oversight and Government Reform Wednesday. He’s alleged to have “defrauded the government for millions of dollars in aid and federal incentives by claiming to be an injured veteran,” according to Business Insider.

Castollo is receiving 30 percent disability for a sprained ankle, which occurred in 1984, from the Veterans Affairs Administration without having served a single day on active duty. Given his lack of service and the Illinois Democratic lawmaker’s honorable service, she was the last person he wanted to lock horns with.

Despite sitting on opposite sides of the isle, committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., was obviously enjoying the exchange — he allowed her to go far beyond her allotted time with nary a discouraging word.

“Do you feel that the 30 percent rating that you have received for your scars and the pain in your foot is accurate to the sacrifices you have made for this nation,” Duckworth sweetly asked.

“Yes ma’am, I do,” Castillo replied.

Oh, oh. Castillo never saw what was coming until it was too late.

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

In contrast, Business Insider’s Brian Jones noted:

Castillo attended a prep school affiliated with West Point Military academy for one year in 1984. After he sprained his ankle in training, he dropped out. He later enjoyed a career as a college quarterback at San Diego State University.

He went 27 years without claiming any benefits affiliated with his military service, until his company acquired a company called Signet Computers and he sought a government contract.

Castillo wrote the following email to a VA examiner knowing that having a service connected disability would have helped him to secure the contract:

My family and I have made considerable sacrifices for our country. My service connected disability status should serve as a testimony to that end. I can’t play with my kids because I can’t walk without pain. I take twice daily pain medication so I can work a normal day’s worth. These are crosses that I bear due to my service to our great country. I would do it again to protect this great country. Part of my reasoning for my line of work is that I can continue to support the US federal government. My ask is that you certify me, my company, so that my sacrifices and investments are for not [sic] and that I can provide for my family.

After Castillo confirmed that his foot continued to hurt, Duckworth told him about her own feet.

“My feet hurt too,” she began. “In fact, the balls of my feet burn continuously and I feel like there’s a nail being hammered into my right heel right now. So … I’m sorry twisting your ankle in high school has come back to hurt you in such a painful way.”

Watch the full exchange below.

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About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

  • Chuck Winn

    I applaud due credit being given to Congresswoman Duckworth (D-IL) for her battlefield heroism.

  • Bob

    I applaud the lady for her service, and deplore, as she does, those who take advantage at the cost of our real heros. Shame on you Mr. Castillo!

  • Lee

    He should be forced to pay every dime back and instead of going to jail, he should have to volunteer at a veterans hospital in the amputee ward for 5 years.

    He's a disgrace!

    • Freddy Fricke

      He should be ashamed of himself…..Prep school, injuries Un-real make him pay it all back.

  • Synova

    It's pathetic to be sure, but it's common among people to think that anything they *can* get, they are entitled to. After all, someone agreed to give it to them.

    Any attempt to shame people for freeloading and you're branded a hater or worse. But people do freeload without shame. They stay on disability just because they can. They get food stamps (cards these days) and don't feel the least bit guilty if they could have bought groceries without it. Indeed, getting more people to take the cards is presented to the country as a victory.

    While I was growing up my family qualified for a number of programs but my father could feed us (we had a farm) and we were clothed (from the Salvation Army) and he refused to take money we didn't need. He'd have taken charity if it meant feeding his children… but it *didn't*.

    No one asks themselves (or anyone else) anymore… can I scrape by… do I *need* to take money from other people? No… it's "good news… you quality."

    And that's what a majority of voters vote for. Can't be a hater or risk causing the truly needy to feel bad. So people feel entitled instead.

  • CindyS

    Mr. Castillo is a disgrace to his family & to himself. It is people like him who ruin it for people & programs in need. I hope he gets prison time & has to pay back all the money he took in fraud. I'm disgusted.

  • Poppy

    Do I wish she was a Conservative. She says it better than anyone I have heard say it in a long long time.

  • Chuck Winn

    I applaud Congressman (LtCol) Duckworth's integrity for focusing on a major flaw in the VA disabiity system, which is that approximately 2/3 of those drawing VA compensation receive it for conditions having no causal relationship to performing miltary duties.

    The author made a significant factual error by describing Mr. Castillo as a non-veteran. The USMA Prep School is a facility where selected regular and reserve Army enlisted personnel attend to academically prepare themselves for a competitive appointment to West Point. Mr. Castillo had to be in the Army to attend the USMA prep school so he was technically a veteran, but drawing a disability for a non combat injury.

  • surgpa

    What I want to know is, how the hell did he get 30% for a twisted ankle? I screwed up my back and knees and got the grand percentage of 20%. Talk about knowing someone, he had to have paid for that rating. The VA needs to take a re-look at this crooked idiot.

  • Peggy Sue Zinn

    I say that woman needs to be president, because I would be willing to bet a whole lot of nonsense in our Government would stop and vets would finally get their due. You go Girl!!! you got my vote when you are ready to run!!!

  • guy mann

    maybe OUR lawmakers could do something about jack offs like this guy and forget about trying to change abortion laws,gun laws etc