Rep. Tammy Duckworth is the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress in Illinois, the first disabled woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and the first member of Congress born in Thailand.
She served as a pilot in the Iraq War and in 2004, the helicopter she was flying was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. Duckworth lost both her legs and very nearly her arm. She currently holds the position of Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In this video, Duckworth sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee whilst hearing the case of IRS contractor Braulio Castillo, whose application for veterans’ benefits allowed him to promote his firm as a small business operated by a disabled veteran. His injuries? Twisting his ankle during a football match at military prep school.
For capitalising on his status as an ‘injured veteran’, which may have won him millions of dollars in contract fees, Castillo faces considerable opprobrium from the august politician.