By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
Evangelina Castro was presented a National Youth Hero award for her bravery from the National American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Monday night.
Castro was presented the award by Logan Ladies Auxiliary president Jessica Knight at a surprise ceremony at the American Legion Bingo Hall in Logan.
Castro was also presented letters of commendation from Mary Lou Lopez, chairman of the Department of New Mexico Ladies Auxiliary, and Rita Navarrete, Auxiliary National chairman for children and youth.
“It is very special for Evangelina to receive this award,” said Knight. “She is a member of our junior Auxiliary. She showed great character in what she did and that is great because young women like her are our future leaders.”
Castro’s grandmother, Angie Chavez, submitted her for the award after learning about her selfless act during the tornado that hit Logan on March 23.
“I am proud of her for getting this award,” said Evangelina’s mother Connie Castro. “She was quick to act when she protected her family.”
Castro and her cousin, Christina Linde, and Linde’s son, Valo, were leaving the Logan Food Market as the storm hit.
Hail began to fall as Linde ran to unlock the car, while Castro huddled with the child in her arms in a phone booth for protection. Linde opened the door and motioned for Castro to run to the vehicle.
Once inside the car, Castro put Valo into a car seat and placed a blanket over him. Then, as the vehicle was backing up, the pressure from the storm caused the windows to blow out, sending pieces of glass flying around the inside of the car.
Castro threw herself on top of Linde’s child, acting as a human shield to prevent any glass from striking the toddler.
“I am so grateful to her and would do anything to repay her for what she did,” said Linde.
“I did not have time to think,” said Castro.
“It all happened so fast and all I could do was put myself over the baby to make sure he did not get hit by the glass.”