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Matthew Castillo del Muro joined the U.S. Army in 2009. He was deployed to Afghanistan on March 8, 2010, where he worked tirelessly to uncover dozens of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). On June 6, 2010, del Muro stepped on a pressure plate IED while on night patrol. Following the blast he was transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was treated for numerous injuries, including right leg below knee amputation.
Less than a year later, del Muro met the woman he would spend the rest of his life with and on April 9, 2011, the two wed under the cherry blossoms in the Walter Reed rose garden. In December 2011, the del Muro family welcomed their first son, Connor Lawrence, and shortly thereafter their second son, Charles Matthew, in September 2013.
While in the Army, del Muro received countless awards including a Purple Heart, a Combat Infantry Badge, two Army Commendation Medals, and an Army Good Conduct Medal. As a result of his service, he suffers from a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines, left foot pain and cramping, lower back pain, right knee medical meniscus tear with painful motion and limited flexion, a painful scar on his right leg, and chronic pain in his left leg accompanied by scarring. Sports played a crucial role in del Muro’s recovery.
In October 2011, while still in treatment, he was asked to participate in an amputee soccer match with the U.S. national soccer league against amputees from the Haiti earthquake disaster. Following his retirement in December 2012, the del Muros moved to San Antonio to be closer to their extended families. Currently, del Muro is still undergoing numerous treatments at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Center for the Intrepid.