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Gold Star family member reflects on son’s legacy

Nov 13 2020
Sarah Hines | News Channel 6

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - A Wichita Falls mother is remembering her son who paid the ultimate sacrifice 10 years ago serving our country.

She has been chosen to represent the Gold Star families on the board for the Lake Wichita Revitalization Project Veteran Memorial Plaza.

Alicia Castillo’s son Alexis Maldonado joined the army after high school.

“He was a very good kid growing up,” said Castillo. “He was an honor roll student, and one year he decided after graduation that he wanted to join the army.”

After enlisting in 2010, he was sent to training at Fort Hood and then Afghanistan where he served as a specialist.

“You think that they are going to come home,” said Castillo. “You don’t think that your worst nightmare of your son not coming back.”

Maldonado was killed in combat in August of 2010 and left behind his family and a son.

“I remember going home and shortly after I got a call,” said Castillo. “After that, I don’t remember a lot.”

Now the life and legacy of specialist Maldonado are being remembered.

Castillo will represent families who have lost love ones in combat for the new Veterans Memorial Plaza which will have a special memorial for Gold Star families.

“Having someone that has that really close experience as a family member will just add a deep meaning to the reasons as to why we want to place that memorial at Lake Wichita,” said Kathie Forehand-Chaddick, secretary of the Lake Wichita Revitalization Project.

“He would be honored,” said Castillo. It will be an honor for all vets. The ones that have made it home and paid the ultimate sacrifice and fought for our country for our freedom."

For more information about the Veterans Memorial Plaza, click here.