Hammonton High School Graduate, Army Private Dies in Iraq
19-year-old Pvt. Christopher Castaneda, who was a 2014 graduate of Hammonton High School, died in Iraq on November 19th in a non-combat-related incident, according to the U.S. Army.
According to a US Army press release, Castaneda was serving as part of Operation Inherent Resolve at Al Asad Air Base in Al Anbar Province in western Iraq. Castaneda was with the 10th Mountain Division, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, according to Fort Drum Public Affairs, where his unit was based.
Castaneda, from Fripp Island, SC, joined the Army in January, 2015. After basic training and infantry advanced individual training at Fort Benning, GA, he arrived at Fort Drum in May and deployed with his unit in August to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Castaneda's awards and decorations include the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Army Achievement Medal (Posthumous).
Castaneda is survived by his mother and grandfather. The Courier-Post reports funeral services will be held Saturday from 10-1 at Carnesale Funeral Home on S. Third St. in Hammonton. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Castaneda's name to The Fisher House Foundation, at 116 Purple Heart Drive, Dover AFB, DE, 19902.