Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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.