A combat veteran running for Senate said that Donald Trump "always has things handed to him," citing the Purple Heart he received from a veteran at a rally on Tuesday.

During a rally in Ashburn, Va., a retired lieutenant colonel who was wounded in Iraq reportedly gave Trump his Purple Heart, which is a military medal awarded for injuries at the hand of an enemy.

"I always wanted to get the Purple Heart," Trump said. "This was much easier."

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., hit Trump for the comment in a fundraising email, saying it's just the latest in a long line of examples that show Trump doesn't understand what it means to sacrifice for his country.

"It's no surprise Donald Trump accepted a Purple Heart the 'easier' way today because that's the story of his life. He never sacrifices. He always has things handed to him," the email says.

Duckworth lost both legs and partial use of her right arm when her Black Hawk helicopter pilot was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and crashed in 2004. She received the Purple Heart.

"I earned a Purple Heart in combat and I know many others who have as well. It's not something anyone 'wanted to get.' We earned them because our country asked us to," the email from Duckworth's campaign says.

Trump's comments about the Purple Heart come just days after he angered some in the military community for criticizing Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents who spoke at the Democratic National Convention about their Muslim son who was killed in combat.

"I'm outraged that anyone seeking to be commander in chief of this great nation would show so little respect for our troops. Please ask Donald Trump to apologize," Duckworth wrote.

Duckworth is challenging Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., for his seat in the Senate. It is considered by many to be one of the most vulnerable seats in an election where Democrats are hoping to regain control of the upper chamber.