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  • "If I am bound to the belief that God is in control of the cosmos, and miracles can and do happen, then there is no 'hypothetical situation' wherein God's ability to perform miracles through the faithful actions of the merciful ceases to be a possibility."

    Joshua's above words continue to resonate with us, his family, friends and acquaintances seeking to live out that same belief. Though he is no longer with us bodily, we strive to faithfully remember and testify to Joshua's witness among us, through the establishment of The Joshua Casteel Foundation and other initiatives on which we will continue to provide update through this website. Thank you for joining us.

    "The just man, though he die early, shall be at rest." (Wisdom 4:7)

    Joshua was diagnosed in early November 2011 with stage IV lung cancer (adenocarcinoma), which ultimately took his life on August 25, 2012 at the age of 32. The many of us who survive and love him will continue to pursue the heavenly justice to which Joshua (in life, and now in death) testified.

Memorial Day Benefit: IVAW Chicago

EMPACT Series Benefit (Everyone’s Music Politics Art and Community Throwdown!)

A Memorial Day Weekend benefit for the Joshua Casteel Foundation

Saturday, May 25th, 8pm
@ The Ribcage, 3036 N. Lincoln Avenue, 3rd Floor

::::: Featuring:

Al Scorch and the Country Soul Ensemble
http://www.alscorch.com/

Four Star Brass Band New Orleans style brass band http://www.fourstarbrassband.com/

featuring Veterans Art!

DJ’s

+ more

suggested donation

Learn More about Joshua Casteel and the orgs:

http://joshuacasteel.com/
http://righttoheal.org/
http://www.ivaw.org/chicago
http://www.que4.org/IVAW Chicago

May 8, 2013 - 12:54 AM

Chad Nicholson - Because it took a while for me to track down, I thought I would share the additional event details I found. There is a Facebook event set up here: https://www.facebook.com/events/365245253592533/

Anyone in Chicago should feel free to get the word out and attend. I’ll see you there and buy you a drink.*

*offer limited to the first 10 people who tell me why they loved Joshua.

Request

Hi all – I just found out that in order to get the plaque created in time for the ceremony on the 18th that I will need to get the names, etc. to the printer by tomorrow. If any of you have sent donations or are planning to send a donation could you please email me today and let me know so that I can include you on the plaque. I apologize that this is last minute but we want to make sure that everyone who donates and who wants to be included on the plaque is included! My email is rebekahnd AT gmail.com.

Thank you! – Rebekah (Casteel) Latchis

The Joshua Casteel House: There is Still Time!

Since the time is upon us to begin work on the plaque for the Joshua Casteel House which will include the names of those of you who have donated for it’s new beginning and given so much to Joshua and our family, I wanted to write a reminder to those who want to be a part of the ground level of this ministry by donation but haven’t already done so.  If you would like to make a donation we need to receive it by May 4th at the latest.  I know this is short notice for the reminder but I just wanted to make sure that anyone who desired to make a donation knew that there was still time.  We thank all of you who have contributed not only money but your lives in so many different ways.  And we will certainly take pictures of the dedication on May 18th and post them upon our return.

Blessings on you all,
The Casteel family

 

Please send donations made out to the Joshua Casteel Benefit Account to the following address: Kristi Casteel, 285 34th Street, SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403.

May 2, 2013 - 7:22 AM

Chaplain (COL) Herman Keizer, Jr - Please put my name on the list. I have made a donation in the past and will make another soon.

Burn Pits – Important Testimony

A number of articles have been written recently about the testimony of Dr. Stephen Coughlin, a former senior Epidemiologist at the VA. According to Coughlin, the VA has a history of purposefully skewing data and manipulating study results. Importantly, there is data to suggest a linkage between environmental toxins (i.e. burn pits) and illnesses suffered by veterans, but the VA is actively minimizing and discrediting the data.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/03/14-4

“If the studies produce results that do not support Office of Public Health’s unwritten policy, they do not release them,” Coughlin told the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

“This applies to data regarding adverse health consequences of environmental exposures, such as burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, and toxic exposures in the Gulf War. On the rare occasions when embarrassing study results are released, data are manipulated to make them unintelligible,” he said …

… Coughlin told Fox News in an interview, “I was told two or three times in the second half of 2012 by my immediate supervisor not to look at data.” When he said he didn’t want to work on the project with those limitations, Coughlin said that his supervisor threatened him.

If Coughlin’s allegations prove true, a leading veterans’ advocate told the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), the conduct by the VA “would be a total breach of trust with all veterans and their families.”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/13/whistleblower-alleges-veterans-affairs-cover-up/1979839/

In 2010, Coughlin participated in a study of recent veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan that linked exposure to burn pits to greater incidences of asthma or bronchitis. His request to see their medical records was denied, Coughlin said, and the results of the study were never published.

“I was very concerned they were withholding data or misleading people,” he told USA TODAY. “I don’t want to speculate about why.”

 

 

New Beginnings

Reposted from CaringBridge:

I feel a great deal of ambivalence as I write for the last time on CaringBridge because it was the place where so much love connected us all to you and you to us as a family. And of course it was a time when Joshua was still with us. So there’s sadness in yet another good-bye to something significant in our last year together with Joshua.

But the bright side of this scenario is that it is also a new beginning. We are beginning to set up the Joshua Casteel Foundation and this will be, I pray, the new place of ongoing connection and communication of love received and love given. Although no longer writing on CaringBride, we will continue to communicate through Joshua’s website, www.joshuacasteel.com. While in time it will likely undergo a facelift (so bear with us!) we anticipate that the website will be the hub of information for the Foundation.

So much has happened these last few months it’s hard to know where to begin and what to include. So I will cut to the chase and let you know that as a result of donations that people have made to our family which we set aside to begin funding the Foundation, we have been able to make the first donations on behalf of the Joshua Casteel Foundation. These donations were given to peace ministries that had a significant impact in Joshua’s life as well as individual people in need. It has felt so good to see that Joshua’s desires are being fulfilled and that his message will continue on as well.

In addition to the personal donations we’ve received, a fundraising effort is being planned by the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) in Joshua’s honor. The fundraiser will be held in Chicago around the Memorial Day weekend. We are so appreciative of their ongoing support. As soon as details for this event are finalized we will share them on the new site.

As you can see, God is already blessing the Foundation and using it to help us heal as we see Joshua’s life go on in helping others and carrying on his message of love and reconciliation. We are so grateful to those of you who knew or worked with Joshua as we see that you are not forgetting about him and his desire to share that message with the world in a way that not only makes sense but makes a difference in people’s lives and the world as a whole. As you know, his hope and work towards peace was birthed out of a greater good and that is Love; love for God and for mankind as a whole, even his enemies. Without love, true peace is simply not possible. And our prayer is that love will always be what defines and guides all we do from the Joshua Casteel Foundation.

In that regard I want to share with you some very exciting news. On May 18th the Joshua Casteel House in Alliance, Ohio will be officially dedicated and blessed for ministry (http://alliancecatholicworker.org/ ). The Alliance Catholic Worker house opened their doors in May 2012 for an hour once a month as they met to plan and organize their future ministry trying to begin reaching out to those in need. After the decision to name it the Joshua Casteel House they began organizing more specifically, forming a web site and will begin serving meals this month. But it will be this May, a year later that it will open officially as the Joshua Casteel House. We (Rebekah, Naomi, and myself) will be there on May 18th for the official dedication and we are planning on giving them a donation from Joshua’s Foundation.

As I was thinking about this, I was asked by a very excited friend of Joshua’s( when she heard the good news of the dedication of the house in his name), if there was a need for donations. And as I thought about that, the answer being an obvious yes, I imagined that there are probably many more of you out there who loved Joshua as a friend or colleague that would want to be a part of the official start up of this new ministry now in his name along with us through the Joshua Casteel Foundation.

Then I began dreaming about how wonderful it would be if all of us who are a part of the group of Joshua Casteel Foundation donors could have an actual physical presence in the building. So in talking it over with the girls and with the staff we felt like it would be great to design a plaque with all of the names on it of those of you who desire to donate to the Joshua Casteel House. The plaque will have Joshua’s picture and the Joshua Casteel Foundation at the top as well as the names of everyone who has given. We will incorporate your gifts with ours and present it as a whole to the ministry from the Joshua Casteel Foundation at the dedication (details about donating are below). I am very excited about this possibility, that there might be many of you who journeyed through this battle with us, still joined with Joshua in helping this ministry get off the ground, and that you will be honored right along with him through the physical presence of the plaque. This seems only appropriate as so many of you have been a part of his life and work right up until his going home. How I wish I could wallpaper the whole building with all the names of those of you who gave so much to him and to us and who were a living part of who he was and who he became. (Not a had idea for the Foundation office, however….:-) While we want no one to feel any pressure whatsoever, as so many of you have given so much throughout our journey, we just ask that you do what you feel led to do and pray with us that God will bless this ministry as He sees fit. And of course, once again, we say thank you in advance and in retrospect for all the love that has gotten us to this point. We’re here doing these things now because of you.

So those are the highlights at the present time and we will keep you posted via his site regarding what is taking place within the Foundation, the Joshua Casteel House, and in our lives. There is still quite a bit of work we have to do to set up the Foundation (applying for 501(c)(3) status is priority #1) so it will be evolving over time throughout this next year, but we hope to be organized enough to keep you informed of what we are doing and what opportunities there may be for your involvement as well.

Our love, our prayers, and our hearts are with you all,

Kristi, Rebekah, Naomi (Joshua and Rick)

———————————————————————————————————————

DONATIONS FOR THE JOSHUA CASTEEL HOUSE:

Please send donations made out to the Joshua Casteel Benefit Account to the following address: Kristi Casteel, 285 34th Street, SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403. (This is temporary until the foundation is officially set up).

The Catholic Worker movement has a firm stance against being a 501(c)(3) status group (see below a statement about this from Dorothy Day). Because the Joshua Casteel Foundation will not have non-profit status for quite some time (the process can take up to a year or more), donations towards the Joshua Casteel House will not be tax deductible at this time.

**Dorothy Day: “We believe also that the government has no right to legislate as to who can or who are to perform the Works of Mercy. Only accredited agencies have the status of tax-exempt institutions. After their application has been filed, and after investigation and long delays, clarifications, intercession, and urging by lawyers – often an expensive and long-drawn-out procedure – this tax-exempt status is granted.

As personalists, as an unincorporated group, we will not apply for this ‘privilege.’ We have explained to our donors many times that they risk being taxed on the gifts they send us, and a few (I can only think of two right now) have turned away from us. God raises up for us many a Habakkuk to bring his pottage to us when we are in the lion’s den, or about to be, like Daniel of old.”