The Veterans of Foreign Wars' political action committee Friday endorsed a Republican congressional candidate with no military experience over a Democrat who lost her legs in combat in Iraq.

The endorsement of GOP state Sen. Peter Roskam over Tammy Duckworth angered some Illinois veterans, as well as national figures such as former Sen. Bob Kerrey, a veteran who lost a leg in Vietnam.

"They should be ashamed of themselves," he said. "They have some explaining to do to their members."

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Duckworth is a former Black Hawk helicopter pilot with the Army who lost her legs when her aircraft was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Flanked by more than 20 veterans at a news conference, Duckworth said she was never contacted by the organization or asked to fill out a questionnaire, as typically happens when organizations are deciding which candidates to endorse.

"I think it's unfortunate they did this," she said.

Duckworth has said that invading Iraq was a mistake but now that American troops are there, withdrawal should be tied to an aggressive training plan for Iraqi forces.

Roskam has repeatedly said the military needs to "finish well" in Iraq. He caused a stir during a debate when he said the district wasn't a "cut-and-run district" — something Duckworth supporters called inappropriate, given her injuries.

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