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Victor Castro

Victor L. Castro Jr.’s first combat deployment with the U.S. Army was to Afghanistan. A little more than a year later, he was sent to Iraq. Although he was more experienced at that point, he was less confident of surviving because he was by then a leader and he knew he’d fight to the end for anyone in his command who was hurt or under attack. Castro made it home alive, but the tour of duty in Iraq took its toll. “It made me harder because of the day-to-day exposure to violence, exhaustion, and pain. Surviving is really hard work,” he says. Castro has reflected on his experience in the Warrior Chronicles, a graphic novel he created to show the human beings underneath the military uniforms. His work serves as bridge to fellow veterans. “The art becomes a catalyst for talking about harder issues,” says Castro. “I like being there for them and I can only hope that my art gives them some relief.”

Wounded Warrior

14 x 11 in.

Pencil


“The intensity of a soldier is a hard to destroy,” says Castro. Even though he has lost an arm, the one captured in his drawing wants to continue fighting. “He just needs a new arm, which will give him the ability to salute the flag,” Castro says.