1979 - 2012
Inspiration of Faith. Dedicated Student. Advocate for Justice.
Defender of the Helpless. Peacemaker with All.
Loving Son. Soldier of Conscience.
from the documentary Soldiers of Conscience
Joshua was trained as an Arabic translator and deployed with the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion to Abu Ghraib prison working as an interrogator from June 2004 to January 2005. Upon his return, Joshua applied for conscientious objector status and was honorably discharged in May 2005.
Letters from Abu Ghraib, a collection of email messages sent by Joshua Casteel to his friends and family during his service as a US Army interrogator and Arabic linguist in the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion, is the raw and intimate record of a soldier in moral conflict with his duties. Once a cadet at the US Military Academy at West Point and raised in an Evangelical Christian home, Casteel finds himself stationed at Abu Ghraib prison in the wake of the prisoner abuse scandal. He is troubled by what he is asked to do there, although it is, as he writes, miles within the bounds of what CNN and the BBC care about. Forced to confront the nature of fundamentalism, both religious and political, Casteel asks himself a fundamental question: How should I then live?
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 Casteel
Our mission is to promote peace, justice, reconciliation and care for those impacted by war. We hope to raise a community of consciousness of the health impacts of war on both veterans and the Iraqi people, (2) provide ongoing information about projects in Iraq and our work in the U.S. (e.g. scholarship program, speaking engagements, peace/justice symposiums, book releases, play productions, etc.), and (3) inspire our individuals and churches to get involved.