Havre de Grace leaders honor hometown National Guard soldier

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Maryland Army National Guard Specialist Samantha Castillo, a Havre de Grace native, was recently honored by her hometown’s mayor and City Council after her return home from training.

“We’re really proud of you, one for serving our country, and two, being from Havre de Grace,” Mayor William T. Martin said during the July 2 council meeting.

Castillo, 27, is the daughter of Bonnie and David Castillo, of Havre de Grace. Both parents watched with pride as their daughter, wearing her Army dress uniform talked and exchanged gifts with the mayor in front of the council dais.

Bonnie Castillo works with the city’s tourism office in the Havre de Grace Visitors Center. David Castillo, a retired lieutenant colonel who spent 31 years in the Army, works for Clorox in Aberdeen. He is also a regular volunteer at community events such as the recent Independence Day celebration.

David Castillo retired from the Army in 2012. He had been deployed to Kuwait during his career, and he was sent from there to Pakistan, working in the logistics field.

Samantha Castillo, the oldest of five siblings, is a 2009 graduate of Havre de Grace High School. She graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2014 with a degree in environmental science and technology.

She joined the Guard last November, finished her basic training in February and completed advanced individual training June 26. Both trainings, 34 weeks total, happened at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri, Castillo said.

Castillo is a geospatial engineer for the Guard, and as a military engineer, she is part of the Army Corps of Engineers.

She said she will be assigned to Annapolis, although she had not yet been assigned to a unit.

The National Guard involves part-time service, so Castillo is looking for full-time work while she applies to a master’s degree program in engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

“I’m looking to put my new experience to work,” she said.

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