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Major Ivan Castro

A member of the Armed Forces since 1988, Major Castro was injured in Iraq in 2006 while serving as a scout platoon leader, 82nd Airborne Division. He sustained life threatening injuries and was blinded when mortar shells landed near him, killing two men in his unit.

Castro battled back, determined to remain to active duty and treat his injuries as another challenge.

As examples of his resilience, Castro has completed 50+ marathons, cycled across America, and summited Kilimanjaro.

Castro was selected to be part of an international team of injured service members, joined by Prince Harry, that trekked 200 miles across Antarctica to the South Pole and competed in the Invictus Games. He is the only blind American to ski to the South Pole, and has decorations including: Purple Heart with one oak leaf cluster; Ranger and Special Forces Tabs; Ross Perot Award for Military Philanthropic Leadership.

For his next challenge, Castro is assembling a team of injured Special Forces Soldiers to trek to the North Pole (April 2019). He never lost sight of who he is and believes although his sight has been taken from him, there is still life to be fully lived and enjoyed. Doors have been closed by the nature of his injury, however, he continues to show there are many doors out there to be opened…all you need is a vision and the will to keep moving forward out of the darkness!

The There But Not There campaign is a moving tribute to our military and the veteran community. The fact that I am able to commemorate the huge sacrifice made by so many, whilst also raising funds for our wounded warriors attending the Invictus Games in Australia later this year, is a privilege.

Major Ivan Castro

There But Not There