Wounded Veteran Not a ‘True Hero,’ Says Congressman


Lt. Col. Tammy Duckworth may have lost both her legs in Iraq, but that’s hardly the kind of thing one should mention, and it certainly isn’t particularly heroic. At least that’s the position of Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill.

Walsh, who is running for re-election against Duckworth, said in a campaign event in Elk Grove, Ill. that Duckworth wasn’t a “true hero,” because she dared to talk about being injured. Walsh compared her unfavorably to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who — you may have heard — was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.

Understand something about John McCain. His political advisers, day after day, had to take him and almost throw him against a wall and hit him against the head and say, “Senator, you have to let people know you served! You have to talk about what you did!” He didn’t want to do it, wouldn’t do it. Day after day they had to convince him. Finally, he talked a little bit about it, but it was very uncomfortable for him. That’s what’s so noble about our heroes. Now I’m running against a woman who, my God, that’s all she talks about. Our true heroes, it’s the last thing in the world they talk about. That’s why we’re so indebted and in awe of what they’ve done.

Nobody questions whether McCain heroically endured torture in Vietnam, and even his strongest political opponents have praised his service. McCain has, however, mentioned his service in Vietnam throughout his political career, and his service was the centerpiece of his unsuccessful 2008 presidential run.

Duckworth served as a helicopter pilot in Iraq. She was injured when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter she was piloting was hit by a rocket fired by Iraqi insurgents. Duckworth lost both her legs and sustained severe injuries to her right arm. She received the Purple Heart, the Air Medal and the Army Commendation Medal for her service.

After her injuries, Duckworth unsuccessfully ran for Congress, losing the open seat to Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill. Later, she served as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs under Govs. Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn. In April 2009 she joined the Veterans Administration as Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, a position she held until announcing a run for Congress in 2011.

Walsh has belittled Duckworth’s service before. In April, he said of Duckworth, “What else has she done? Female, wounded veteran … ehhh. She is nothing more than a handpicked Washington bureaucrat.”

Walsh won a narrow, 291-vote upset in 2011, ousting Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill. After winning, media reports surfaced indicating that he had a number of financial woes, including tax liens, a foreclosure, and over $100,000 in unpaid child support. Walsh’s 8th District has been significantly redrawn for the 2012 election and is considered much more friendly to Democrats than it was previously. Public Policy Polling has said that Walsh “may be the most vulnerable Republican incumbent in the country.”

Watch the video:

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Image Credit: Mark Taylor


Ira L.
Ellie L5 years ago

Walsh is a pig, and should be voted OUT of office. How dare he speak ill of someone who sacrificed so much for her country.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm5 years ago

THere are actually only a handful of men that made my flesh crawl. He is one of them What a maggot of a man.

Miranda Parkinson

It seems like whenever these repubs. open their mouths, they need to be handed the toilet paper.

Larry C.
Larry Cowden5 years ago

Walsh is a gutless spineless yellow bellied coward that preys off the people that voted him in in the first place. The very fact that this SOB NEVER SERVED qualifies him as one worthless piece of trash that doesn't belong in office. There's a yellow streak running down his back and down his pants leg from pissing himself at even the thought of facing combat to defend this country. Is that the kind of trash we want in office? And his attacks on a fellow veteran are intolerable. Face to face, I'd knock this SOB back into the Stone Age! My vote would be for Lt. Colonel Duckworth!

Susan Barnett
Susan Barnett5 years ago

What a misogynistic jerk. Let's hope Lt. Col. Duckworth kicks his stupid butt in the upcoming election and Walsh can fade into well-deserved obscurity.

Michael M.
Michael M5 years ago

Republicans are a special kind of a$$hole-right-wing-nutjob that I want nothing to do with. Why the stupid voters continue to elect these jerks is beyond me.

Oh, wait, I know: They are Faux News watching, Limpballs' ass licking, unpatriotic lemmings who does that Faux tells them to do because they have no brains for themselves.

Lynda Duke
Lynda Duke5 years ago


Lynda Duke
Lynda Duke5 years ago

Jealous Joe - can't get the title hero - studied DRAMA in college, couldn't get into acting. Never served his country but he can't see that a WOMAN can be a HERO! She's my hero! I'm proud of her. And hope she kicks his can all the way out of the election! GO AWAY JOE!!!

Christian Gallison

Jealous Much Joe? She did what you didn't have the guts to do. You are a chickenhawk of the worst sort. You don't have the guts to put on a uniform, but you will go after a veteran who gave both her legs so you can have the right to spew your vile poison. You need to apologize to Col Duckworth and every other veteran in a very loud and public manner. Because of morons like you, here is one veteran who will not vote rethuglican again for a very long time.

Lori E.
Lori E5 years ago

I don't understand how he won the first time. I hope he's not reelected. What an ass!