Portsmouth, Va. based Coast Guardsman among servicemembers honored at White House dinner

5th Coast Guard District NewsPORTSMOUTH, Va. — A Portsmouth, Va. based Coast Guardsman and Clay Center, Kan. native, was among the servicemembers honored at a White House dinner, hosted by President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., Wednesday.

Chief Petty Officer Joseph Castro, a maritime enforcement specialist at Coast Guard Training Team East here, was selected to attend the dinner, titled “A Nation’s Gratitude: Honoring the U.S. Troops of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.”

Castro served as part of the Patrol Forces Southwest Asia’s Middle East Training Team after which he was awarded a Coast Guard Commendation Medal and a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

“It was an honor to be chosen to represent the Coast Guard,” said Castro. “It’s good to be recognized amongst the other services. Even though we’re the smallest service, it’s nice that people understand why we’re here.”

Castro was born in Manhattan, Kan., but later moved to Clay Center, Kan., graduating from Clay Center Community High School in 1993. After high school, he joined the Coast Guard and earned an associate degree in homeland security from Everret College. He is currently working on his bachelor’s degree in homeland security from the American Military University. Castro’s wife, Isiris Reyes, accompanied him to the dinner.

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