Army Marine Corp Navy Air Force Coast Guard Police Firefighters Citizen Heroes

Cpl. Jonathan Castro

73rd Eng. Co, Stryker Brigade Ft. Lewis WA
US Army

Cpl. Castro's Act of Heroism

Jonathan was deployed to Mosul, Iraq in Oct. 2004. He was a proud soldier, performing the duties and missions assigned him. He was killed 12.21.2004 when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the mess tent at FOB Marez, killing 22, 14 of which were soldiers.

My Hero

Cpl. Jonathan Castro was born May 22, 1983 and was the only child of Vickie and Jorge Castro. From the first day that we welcomed Jonathan into the world, until our last conversation with him on Mon. Dec. 20, 2004 he filled our lives with pride, joy and love. He was a son that truly honored us everyday of his life.

As his father and I watched and guided his journey from childhood to adulthood, we were so very proud of the compassionate, confident, driven, dedicated and intelligent young man that we saw him become. He was no longer a child but a man in his own right. My husband said many times that Jonathan was not only his son but also his friend, confidante, and partner.

Jonathan had an understanding of life far beyond his years; an ability to look at the broader picture that many of us never develop. He valued people for who they were because he knew that looks, possessions or social position did not define a person.

Jonathan was a person that if given love would return it 10 fold, if you gave respect, he would multiply that and return it to you. Of course I also know that my son was no angle, not yet anyway, so if you gave him attitude, he could do attitude too.

Jonathan told me about a training scenario that he went through in the Army. He described it like this:

They were to role-play, and each person was given a description of the person that they represented. One was a brain surgeon, another a housewife, there was a trash collector, a NASA scientist, a mechanic, a professor, a gardener and so on. Then they were informed that the US had come under a biological attack; some sort of germ warfare and anyone exposed would die. Their group of 16 had gotten to an airtight room and were safe from the bacteria. Then, with his dying breath one of the scientists on the outside of the room informed them that they had determined that the bacteria would die off in three days and that they would be able to safely exit the room, the problem was that there was only enough air in the room to support 8 people for that length of time. So the debate started as to who should be able to stay in the room and who would have to leave. Of course, Jonathan, being Jonathan, sat back while everyone argued over this. Once they realized that Jonathan hadn’t joined into the argument they asked him,

“Hey Castro what do you say?”

“Simple” he said, “put everyone’s name in a hat and draw out 8.”

They all thought that he was crazy,“What if your name gets pulled?”

“Then I guess I’m screwed. Huh?”

He wasn’t taking a cavalier attitude toward death. The point that he was trying to get them to realize was that everyone’s life had value and that everyone has different talents and treasures to contribute to the world, no one person’s life was of greater or lesser value then another’s. Jonathan was wise beyond his years and would challenge people to look at the broader picture, and to take other people’s points of view into consideration.

Jonathan was well aware that the world did not revolve around him. But, he knew without a doubt, that he was the center of the universe to his father and me. We miss him every second of every minute of every day.


Our Mission

Board of Directors

Honorary Board

General Burwell B. Bell, U.S. Army (Retired) General Richard Cody Rear Admiral Robert C. Crates, SC, USNR (Retired) Charlie-Daniels Julie Gold Kelsey Grammer Jamie Huysman The Judds John Ondrasik Geraldo Rivera Marlon Shirley General Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret) Past Honorary Board Members

Financial Advisors


Decorative Leather Books FedEx Corporation Google Adwords Humana The Juilliard School KnightVision Photography Original Oil Portraits Steinway & Sons TechKnowSys US Engineering White House Advertising & Design 55 Productions

Search by Hero Last Name


Enter your email address to receive special notices, announcements and related information

We do not share, rent or sell email addresses