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Captain Iván Castro
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1988-present|
|Battles/wars||Operations Desert Storm and others|
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Captain Iván Castro (born 1967) is a U.S. Army officer who did not leave the Special Forces after becoming blind. He is one of three blind officers who currently serve in the U.S. Army and the only blind officer in the United States Army Special Forces. Castro believes in helping wounded fighters return to a normal life, and has talked to Congress about this. He takes part in marathons and other races.
Early years[change | change source]
Castro was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. His parents were from Puerto Rico. In 1979, when he was 12 years old, he moved to Puerto Rico with his mother. After finishing military training, Castro went to university in Puerto Rico. While he was a student he went to many sports running competitions. After four years of university, Castro joined the US Army. He later trained to become an officer. He was blinded during combat in Iraq; while serving in 2006.
Marathons[change | change source]
Castro is still active as a sportsman even after recovering from debilitating injuries during his army service. He previously trained with Major Phil Young, who was his leader in the United States Army Special Forces. The audiences often encourage Castro for his determination. He now trains with Lieutenant Colonel Fred Dummar, who is his Battalion Commander. Together Castro and Dummar have completed several marathons.
Awards[change | change source]
Castro has earned many awards. Some of them are as follows:
- Medals and Awards
- Purple Heart
- Meritorious Service Medal
- Joint Services Commendation Medal
- Army Commendation Medal
- Army Achievement Medal
- Army Good Conduct Ribbon
- National Defense Service Medal
- Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
- Southwest Asia Service Medal
- Kosovo Campaign Medal
- Afghanistan Campaign Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- Army Overseas Service Ribbon
- Non-Commissioned Officer Development Ribbon
- Army Service Ribbon
- NATO Medal
- Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabian)
- Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
- Presidential Unit Citation
- Joint Meritorious Unit Award
- Meritorious Unit Citation
- Valorous Unit Citation
- Combat Infantryman Badge with Star
- Expert Infantryman Badge
- Master parachutist badge
- Pathfinder Badge
- Air Assault Badge
- Military Freefall Parachutist Badge
- Drill Sergeant Identification Badge
- Foreign badges
References[change | change source]
- "Soldado ciego Hispano sirve en unidad de elite de EEUU" (in Spanish). Puerto Rico: Terra Puerto Rico. July 2, 2010. http://www.terra.com.pr/noticias/articulo/html/act1318240.htm. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- Nordlinger, Jay (2009-02-09). Captain Extraordinary. 61. National Review. pp. 16–17.
- "Special Forces Soldier, Blinded in Battle, Determined to Keep Serving". Fox News. Associated Press. June 30, 2008. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,373592,00.html. Retrieved December 3, 2008.
- Zoroya, Gregg (November 13, 2007). "Blinded by war: Injuries send troops into darkness". USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2007-11-13-eyeinjuries_N.htm. Retrieved December 3, 2008.
- Brackett, Charmain Z.. "Hispanic Heritage Program". The Signal (Fort Gordon, Georgia). http://www.fortgordonsignal.com/news/2008/0919/front_page/002.html. Retrieved December 3, 2008.
- "Welcome Home — CPT Ivan Castro". Patriot Guard Riders. September 2008. Retrieved December 3, 2008.