Fort Drum soldier dies in Iraq
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - A soldier from Fort Drum in northern New York died on base in Iraq last week, according to the Department of Defense.
Pvt. Christopher J. Castaneda, 19, of Fripp Island, South Carolina, died November 19, 2015, in a non-combat-related incident at Al Asad Air Base, the DoD said. He and his unit were in Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, November 24, in Castaneda's honor.
"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend our deepest sympathy to Pvt. Christopher Castaneda's loved ones," Cuomo said in a statement. "We are saddened by his loss and join his fellow soldiers, his family, and his friends in honoring his service to our nation."
Castaneda joined the Army in January 2015. After basic training, the infantryman arrived at Fort Drum in May 2015, the Army said. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, of the 10th Mountain Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team.
His 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, the Army said.
Castaneda left behind his mother and grandfather.