Thursday, September 03, 2009

Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Benjamin P. Castiglione

Remember Our Heroes

Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Benjamin P. Castiglione, 21, of Howell, Mich.

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Castiglione was assigned to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Sept. 3, 2009 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Also killed was Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher S. Baltazar Jr.

Corpsman with 2nd LAR killed in Afghanistan
Staff report

A Navy corpsman was killed Sept. 3 while supporting Marines in southern Afghanistan, according to the Defense Department.

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Benjamin P. Castiglione, 21, of Howell, Mich., died after being struck by an improvised explosive in Helmand province, his family told local media. Units from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade have been operating in Helmand and neighboring provinces since the spring. He was assigned to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion out of Camp Lejeune.

Castiglione was the subject of a February feature story in the Daily Press & Argus, his hometown newspaper. At the time, his father described the corpsman as a “gung-ho, John Wayne type of guy.”

Just a few months before that article was published, Castiglione had received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for actions in Iraq. His commander, Col. R.E. Smith, singled out the sailor’s quick actions after one Marine in the unit had been stung by a scorpion and, again, in the wake of a car wreck involving Iraqi civilians near Combat Outpost Rio Lobo.

“The military life is not easy,” Castiglione told the newspaper last winter, “but I believe that I am a stronger person for it. The hardships I have dealt with were worth what I have learned and the bonds I have with the Marines in my platoon. When my platoon and I have downtime and talk and mess around with each other, it’s like one big hilarious, dysfunctional family — and it’s a blast. We take care of each other.”

Castiglione joined the Navy in 2006. He aspired to be a physician’s assistant.

Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Benjamin P. Castiglione was killed in action on 9/03/09.

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