Soldier Honored: Dimitri A. Del Castillo
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Branch of Service: Army
Rank: 1st Lieutenant
First Lieutenant del Castillo, 24, of Tampa, Florida died June 25, 2011 while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He was on the radio calling in support for the men of his unit around him who had been attacked and wounded by small arms fire from enemy forces. While refusing to give up the radio so he could help keep his men alive, he was hit and died with the mike in his hand.
After graduating from James E. Taylor High School in Katy, Texas, he entered the US Military Academy at West Point. He became the fly half for the Army Rugby team, and graduated in May 2009, receiving his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. After completion of the Basic Officers Leadership Course and the Mortar Officers Leadership Course, Dimitri went on to earn the coveted US Army Ranger tab. After his third year, 1LT del Castillo earned his Airborne wings at Fort Benning during the summer, and went on to complete Ranger School in May 2010.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Ribbon, Army Good Conduct Medal and the NATO Medal.
1LT del Castillo was a lover of life, a great athlete, and avid sports fan with a kind heart for those in need. He loved God, his country, his wife and his family.
The First Lieutenant Dimitri A. del Castillo Scholarship was created in his honor as a memorial to selfless service and ultimate sacrifice made to our country. The scholarship provides financial assistance to qualified applicants in furthering their education.