KATY, Texas—A 24-year-old graduate of Katy Taylor High School was killed Saturday while serving in Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense confirmed Tuesday.
1st Lt. Dimitri A. Del Castillo died from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.
Del Castillo joined the Army on May 23, 2009, after graduating from West Point.
WTSP in Tampa reports that Del Castillo was just months away from marrying his fiancé, also a West Point grad.
Some time after Del Castillo graduated from Taylor High in 2005, his parents moved to the Tampa area. His grandparents still live in Houston.
Neighbors in Katy described Del Castillo as a great kid who played soccer in high school. The team won the district championship when he was there.
Neighbors also said Del Castillo always wanted to be a soldier.
"It’s a very emotional time. Very proud of Dimitri and what he accomplished. He met all of his goals. He was an athletic, smart young man, and I guess God takes the best and brightest," neighbor Ellen Kubala said.
Del Castillo’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Ribbon, Army Good Conduct Medal and the NATO Medal.
He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, stationed in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
His body arrived at Dover Air Force Base Monday.