Castillo isn't just a good wrestler, he's the captain of the 2003--04 team at
Mattawan ( Mich.) High. Wait! He's not just the captain, he's the winner of the
team's leadership award.
And wrestling is
only where it starts. He's a break-dancing, bungee-jumping, joke-telling
machine in a crew cut. "The all-American kid," the grown-ups call him.
And it makes you wonder: How many people know he was born in Mexico?
Five. It's 2000,
and 17-year-old Jason Corbett takes his mark at the ancient Panathenaic Stadium
in Athens. The timer is ready and—bang!—Corbett's off. Of course, there's no
official time for his run because there's nobody in the stands and it's his
buddy holding the watch.
He's not in a
track meet, he's on a trip with some Casper, Wyo., high school classmates. But,
hey, that's not going to stop Corbett from running or having a good time.
Nothing stops Corbett. He swallows life whole—track, snowboarding, fly-fishing
and hunting. The kid has all the warning signs of a thrillaholic and loves
anything to do with the outdoors. Maybe that's why he ended up in the only
place big enough for him: Alaska.
SO WHAT do these
five athletes have in common? They were all killed in Iraq during a two-week
period in January.
Air Force Senior
Airman Loncki, 23, was killed by a car bomb near Al-Mahmudiyah.
Freeman, 31, was killed by insurgents disguised as American soldiers in
First Class Falter, 25, died as a result of that same ambush.
Corporal Castillo, 20, died from wounds suffered while on patrol in Al Anbar
Corbett, 23, died of injuries from small-arms fire suffered while on patrol in