DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Shaun Castle was born in Elmira, N.Y., and his family legacy of those who served in the military was never far from his mind. In particular, Castle’s father was a Vietnam War veteran, and he wanted to make his father proud by serving this country.
Castle enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2000 and became a military police officer stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. He served in Kosovo, Macedonia and missions in support of the Global War on Terrorism. In 2002, he served as a protective services guard to two four-star Generals.
In 2003, Castle was severely injured during a training exercise in Heidelberg. While a prosthetics surgery enabled him to walk again, he sustained further damage to his spinal cord. After a second spinal cord surgery which was unsuccessful, Castle learned during treatment at the Birmingham VA Medical Center in Alabama that he had a life-threatening allergy to all pain medications and muscle relaxers, a complication that nearly took his life.
PVA’s National Service Officer in Montgomery, AL, Anthony Steele, was at Castle’s bedside following his second surgery and let him know he was there to take care of him. That was the moment Castle was introduced to PVA.
I became the Deputy Executive Director for Paralyzed Veterans of America because I wanted to give back to the organization and people that saved my life.
In 2012, during his rehabilitation, Castle became familiar with the Lakeshore Foundation, a rehab hospital and Olympic training center, in Birmingham, AL. He immediately developed a passion for adaptive sports and playing Wheelchair Basketball. He went on to play college Wheelchair Basketball at the University of Alabama and professional Wheelchair Basketball in Europe.
Castle became a member of PVA in 2014. While studying at the University of Alabama, he worked with the ADA Compliance Committee and sat on the Diversity Committee as a representative for students with disabilities and veterans. He gave numerous speeches across the country on ADA compliance, disability rights and veterans’ issues, and was appointed to the Secretary of the Veterans Affairs Committee on Prosthetics and Special Disabilities.
In 2017, Castle became PVA’s deputy executive director. In his role, he has testified on Capitol Hill on key legislative priorities for the organization. The most significant lesson he has learned from working at PVA is “how critical our mission is to our members and their families, and to the men and women who benefit from the hard work that our organization does to support all people with disabilities.”
Castle has been highlighted in NBC and NBC Sports, FOX and FOX News, Sports Illustrated and The Los Angeles Times
. He was the first adaptive sports athlete to be featured in a national commercial for Toyota, and in Forbes magazine.
Castle earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in communications, graduating summa cum laude from the University of Alabama, where he also pioneered the construction of an arena dedicated solely to Wheelchair Basketball. He is currently finishing a master’s degree in Global Business Management and Marketing. After he completes his degree, Castle plans to attend law school.