Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Death Memorial

Our son TJ was on the promotions list to get his Sgts promotion.  On the day of his death he was threatened that he was being removed from the promotions list.  He was pronounced dead at 7:19AM Iraq time and at 2:30PM was posthumously awarded his Sgt. stripes.  What they withheld from him in life, they gave to him in death.
His death was deemed a suicide by his commander before the CID investigation was completed and before the autopsy was completed.  In their circular thinking, we have been told that the suicide determination was made based on the CID report, but CID says it was based on the autopsy.
On the day of our son’s death, as I said, he was pronounced dead at 7:19AM Iraq time, CID was not notified until 10:00AM of his death and CID did not arrive until 2:00PM.  Before they arrived,  someone in the chain of command ordered the area to be cleaned.  As a result there was nothing for CID to look at when they did arrive.
A ballistics expert, who looked at the CID report and autopsy for us, says that the wound described in the autopsy could not have been made by the weapon our son was carrying, less than 12-18 inches from his head.
As he told us, “Your son’s arms were not long enough to have held the weapon that far from his head and pulled the trigger.”  He shared that without a doubt, “Your son did not take his own life.”
The investigation done by CID was ordered reopened by the Army Office of the Inspector General.  Their findings were that there had been procedural errors made in the investigation, but they did not comment on the outcome.
My husband, who is a Viet Nam vet says we will never know what really happened that morning.
Liz Sweet
If you have any information on this case, contact Liz Sweet through this website

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Death Memorial

Spc. James Pizzo, Jr.

I lost my brother SPC James Pizzo Jr on Nov. 20, 2011. He was found dead in his barracks at Ft. Riley, Kansas in the warrior transition battalion. He joined the army in February 2008. He survived boot camp and graduated in May of 2008, and by September 2008, He was boarding a plane to Iraq.

He spent about 14 months in war before he came back to US soil. While overseas, he hit an IED with his Hum V that flipped causing him to have a neck injury resulting in two separate disk surgeries. He was ready and willing to sign up for his 2nd deployment but his neck injury prohibited his return and he continued working on base. My brother also suffered from PTSD. My brother suffered physically and mentally with pain from his neck, and many nights of panic attacks, and flashbacks. He was supposed to be medically discharged April 2012.

The Last my mother spoke with him was Thursday November 17, 2011. He sounded good, was excited to come home for the holidays and spend time with his children. His autopsy was ruled “Acute Bronchial Pneumonia”. My brother smoked, had sometimes a smoker’s cough, but being a 31 year old otherwise healthy man just does not make sense that he would die from Acute Bronchial Pneumonia overnight. There are so many questions that need to be answered. We were told when he was found that his door was already kicked in, the man who found him was released from the army two days after my brother’s death. Several weeks later, he confirmed that my brother’s door was already kicked in, and then told me to “stop digging, you may not like what you find and you are only going to make things worse.” How can things be any worse?

My brother is already dead..He has not responded to me since then. We were told that his room was ransacked and the evidence was compromised, but the army did not think it was foul play. His heart was kept for further testing which we had to then bury separately three months after his body, but yet, he died of Pneumonia. Why wouldn’t they keep his lungs for testing? The autopsy report makes note of bruising on his abdomen, back and chest, and yet, the medical examiner says “The bruising is not his cause of death.” We have now found out that my brother was on numerous anti psychotics (11 out of 12 prescriptions to be exact) to treat for his PTSD, insomnia, and depression. We are still fighting for records, information, and seem to not be getting far..but i am hopeful that finding this amazing group, and reading all of the accomplishments thus far, i feel I am in the right place to find some justice. Thank you for giving me a chance to tell some of my brother’s story.

If you have information about this case, contact Melanie Pizzo through this website.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Four Marines killed in Camp Pendleton maintenance accident

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Four Camp Pendleton-based Marines were killed Wednesday in an accident during regularly scheduled maintenance at one of the base’s artillery impact areas, Marine officials said.

The incident happened around 11 a.m. at the Zulu Impact Area during upkeep of the range meant to keep the areas safe and remove obstructions, a Marine official said. Impact areas are where Marines fire artillery and drop bombs from aircraft.

The names and ranks of the Marines killed are being held while their families are notified.

Read the entire story here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Death Memorial

MSG Sean M. Mocabee
MSG Sean M. Mocabee died by suicide on 12 November 2008.  He served his country for twenty-three years.  Served two tours in Iraq and one or two in Afghanistan plus various other places around the world.  He was a medic for eighteen of those years receiving two Bronze Stars for his service in this area.  The second Bronze Star was given posthumously.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Group of senators begin push to remove sex assault cases from chain of command

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators began an effort Wednesday on Capitol Hill to pass a measure removing sexual assault prosecutions in the military from the chain of command.

Opposed by the Defense Department and top lawmakers such as Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., the controversial bill nevertheless has a significant measure of support and will be debated sometime in the next two weeks.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, led a press conference that included a politically eclectic group — Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii. Also appearing were several advocates of the proposal as well as a husband-and-wife team who described personal experience with the crime.

Read the entire story here.