ANDREWS, TX, US
SGT, CO D, 1ST BN, 506TH INF RGT, 4TH BCT, FORT CAMPBELL, KY
04/22/2011, FOB SHARANA, AFGHANISTAN
The 101st Airborne Division’s “Currahee” 4th BCT from Fort Campbell, KY., gathered at FOB Sharana, Afghanistan to pay tribute to Sergeant John Paul Castro.
Sergeant Castro’s platoon leader and two of his fellow soldiers spoke, remembering the sergeant’s love for his wife and children, music and sports, family cookouts and working on cars. 1LT. Gregory Shoemaker said Sergeant Castro was the sort of noncommissioned officer that every platoon leader wants to serve with: a man of unparalleled distinction, the embodiment of a soldier, dedicated and mentally and physically resilient.
“To the men of 3rd platoon, he was a rock,” 1LT. Shoemaker added. “The man who feared nothing, and who would be the first to be there for you, no questions asked.”
Army SPCs. Joseph Rhodes and Bo Rice said Sergeant Castro was a dedicated leader, friend and mentor. SPC. Rhodes explained that Sergeant Castro was passionate about sports, and had “a fierce personality to be the best he could be,” yet always was ready to make friends laugh or help them through their troubles.
As a father, Sergeant Castro had no equal, SPC. Rhodes said. “His love of his children went above and beyond, and was the strongest of any man who’s ever been graced to walk the Earth.”
John Paul Castro grew up in Andrews, Texas. He graduated from Andrews High School in May, 2004. He was always active outdoors, helped anyone that he could and played tuba in the high school band. Sergeant Castro began playing baseball at the early age of 4. His mother, Carmen Castro, still displays the trophies he won over his childhood and teenage years.
Sergeant Castro enlisted in the Army in June 2004 with his best friend and went off to boot camp the next month.
“Once he was there, it was where he wanted to be involved. That’s where his heart was,” according to his sister, Blanca Castro. SGT. Castro deployed twice to Iraq and was wounded each tour. He returned to active duty after each injury. He was completing a third deployment in Afghanistan.
Mrs. Castro recalls Sergeant Castro presenting at her work place with a dozen roses dressed in his uniform when he returned to visit on leave.
“You can’t help but share his enthusiasm. He was always about togetherness and doing something as a family. He was always trying to make sure everybody was having a good time,” Bianca Castro said of her brother.