KIA June 10, 2005
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Died June 10, 2005 alongside fellow Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew J. Kilpela, when an IED detonated near their vehicle during combat operations in Saqlaqiyah, Iraq. Castillo had been patrolling through a roadway outside Fallujah along with several other engineers and infantrymen, posting signs that warned the local populace to beware of insurgent-emplaced IEDs in the area when an IED detonated near his vehicle.
Mario had always wanted to be a Marine growing up. When he was finally able to join after graduating from Brownwood High School, he was quickly nicknamed “Happy” by his fellow Marines. According to his commander, “He was known as a Marine who never complained, who always had a smile on his face, and whose positive attitude was infectious.”
Lance Cpl. Mario Castillo was 20 years old from Brownwood, Texas
Original portrait was presented December 18, 2012 to the Castillo family during a special event held at The First United Methodist Church in Brownwood, Texas.