Captain Ivan Castro, photographed above against a retired Army helicopter from the Vietnam War, was severely wounded during deployment in Iraq in 2006. On a mission he volunteered for to help relieve fellow soldiers, he was struck by a mortar round, sending shrapnel through his entire body – breaking an arm, damaging his shoulder, fracturing bones, collapsing both lungs, and completely damaging the sight in both his eyes. Despite being rushed to the National Naval Medical Center, doctors questioned whether he would survive.
In the fall of last year, we had the opportunity to photograph Ivan for Runner’s World Magazine. During the shoot we learned his story and had the unique opportunity to spend the day with a real American hero. Please Read More to find out the rest of Ivan’s story and what brought us to Fort Bragg North Carolina.
After over a year of rehabilitation, Castro ran his first race in 2007, completing the Marine Corps Marathon in 4:14. Since then, he has completed more than a dozen marathons, including a fifty mile ultramarathon. He is also a champion for rehabilitation programs and wounded veterans in the armed forces, with the simple and powerful message: “as long as you’re breathing, life is worth living.”
He runs most of his races with his Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Fred Dummar, who we also met and photographed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They race as a pair, with Lt. Col. Dummar guiding Ivan, who runs by his side, the two literally tied together at the wrist by a shoelace. More than just friends and colleagues, these men are truly Brother’s in arms.