Showing posts with label Camp Pendleton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Camp Pendleton. Show all posts

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Navy Flight Surgeon James Mazzuchelli continued to save lives after he died

Their Son’s Heart Saved His Life. So He Rode 1,426 Miles to Meet Them.


Bicycling.com
BY A.C. SHILTON
Jan 24, 2020

What she did not yet know was the way those heavy words would ripple outward like a stone dropping into a still pond: allowing a man to return to work, a veteran to get his health back, and an ailing cyclist to get back on his bike. And how those little waves would slowly smooth out the edges of her own grief.

Lt. James Mazzuchelli in an undated photograph. Courtesy U.S. Navy
It took several drafts to get the letters right. To capture her boy who, just a few short months before, had been so full of life, energy, and love. To distill him into the two dimensionality of words on paper.

Three weeks earlier, the thread that held Christine Cheers’s world together had been ripped clean away, sending her whole life spinning like an off-balance top. On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, someone on the other end of the phone had said the words that bring any parent to their knees: “There’s been an accident.”

Her son, 32-year-old Navy flight surgeon James Mazzuchelli had been injured in a helicopter training mission at Camp Pendleton. If she wanted to see him while he was still alive, she needed to get on the next flight from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Diego—and she needed to pray.

James was still breathing when Christine and her husband, David, arrived at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California, the next morning. But it soon became clear that his condition would not improve. Machines were keeping him alive, and the doctors told Christine that what she was seeing was likely his future—that her scuba-diving, world-traveling, over-achiever of a son was never going to wake up.
read it here

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Marine veteran shot by police had been treated for PTSD

Gunman's family apologizes to victims


Rapid City Journal
Arielle Zionts
2 hrs ago
Camille said part of Patrick's job involved cleaning out military vehicles used in the Middle East and he told her that the blood and flesh sometimes found inside the vehicles made him get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

The family of the gunman in the Rapid City apartment shooting last Sunday apologized to the victims and said while their loved one was a Marine Corps veteran struggling with a myriad of mental health issues, it doesn't excuse his actions.

"We're very sorry" for what he did, Camille Alden said Friday while sitting next to a stack of her son's military and health records.

"Help is out there. He didn't take it," Wayne Alden said of his son, Patrick.

Camille, Wayne and one of Patrick's neighbors told the Journal that Patrick fired multiple rounds Friday afternoon in his second-floor apartment 851 East Minnesota St. in Rapid City.

The 29-year-old then went into the hallway where he fatally shot David Iron Horse, 64, according to a news release from the Rapid City Police Department. Patrick, who also shot toward officers and hit a police vehicle, was then fatally shot by an officer who came across him in a stairway, the release says.
Camille and Wayne said Patrick wasn't allowed to own guns due to an involuntary mental health commitment, but he would go to the shooting range with Wayne and he built a 9 mm handgun out of two different guns. They said that's the gun he used last Sunday, not a rifle like police said.
She went through papers from Patrick's July 2019 visit to the Albuquerque VA which found depression gave him a 70% disability, the migraines from his concussions gave him a 50% disability, a shoulder injury gave him a 20% disability, and an Achilles tendon injury gave him a 10% disability. The VA found that Patrick qualified for 100% disability pay and also took him off his anti-psychotic medication around this time, leaving him with anti-depressants.
read it here

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Marine Old Breed Rugby offering support for PTSD the old fashion way

How a St. Charles veteran uses rugby to help fellow Marines


Daily Herald
Bob Susnjara
August 1, 2019

Okicich is among five Old Breed Rugby members who are available 24 hours a day for veterans suffering from depression or who just need to talk. Contact information is on the home page of Old Breed Rugby's website.
Retired Marine Marc Okicich of St. Charles, running with ball, helps other veterans through endeavors such as the Old Breed Rugby Club. The nonprofit honors the memories of fallen Marines while offering a support network to veterans in need. Courtesy of Old Breed Rugby Club


When St. Charles resident Marc Okicich gathers with other retired Marines to play rugby, it's more than just a fun day on the field.

Okicich is a member of the nationwide Old Breed Rugby Club, which since 2005 has honored the memories of fallen Marines while offering a support network to veterans in need.

Part of Old Breed Rugby's mission is to raise money for the permanent endowment of a memorial fund named for Marine Lt. Col. Kevin Shea, who was killed in Iraq in September 2004. The fund is administered by the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

Okicich is among five Old Breed Rugby members who are available 24 hours a day for veterans suffering from depression or who just need to talk. Contact information is on the home page of Old Breed Rugby's website, www.oldbreedrugby.org.

"We've found we've become a support network for some of the guys that came back that were struggling with some post-traumatic stress issues," said Okicich, who played rugby with Shea at Camp Pendleton in California in the early 1990s.

Okicich, 49, remembers one instance when he woke from a nightmare at 2:30 a.m. and noticed a missed call from a few minutes earlier. He returned the call and reached a veteran who "was struggling with some demons."
read it here

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Days after becoming 1st LT, tragic loss for Camp Pendleton couple

After military vehicle accident kills Marine from Maryland, love story turns into tragedy


Associated Press
June 2, 2019


But on Thursday, May 9, no message came. Kathleen grew more nervous as the hours rolled by. She used an app to check his location, and it kept showing that his phone was in an office. By 2:30 a.m. the next morning, the phone's location had not changed.


This Aug. 18, 2018, photo provided by Kathleen Bourque shows Conor McDowell and Kathleen Bourque. The couple's love story ended in tragedy when the military vehicle McDowell was riding in flipped over and killed him in May 2019. (Kathleen Bourque via AP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One day in March 2018, a profile on the dating app Hinge caught Kathleen Bourque's eye. The photo showed Conor McDowell, a tall, bright-eyed Citadel cadet in uniform. He was at a ring ceremony, his mother by his side.

Kathleen, then 21, was moved to send Conor a message: "This is honestly such a beautiful photo."

It was three months before she heard back from him.

"He said, 'I'm so sorry, I just finished the infantry officer course for the Marine Corps,' " Kathleen recalled. "He said his friend had set up his (Hinge) profile for him and he was still figuring out how it worked."

The two of them texted back and forth for hours that night, conversing about their shared Irish heritage and a common passion: the need for better mental health care in the military.

The next night, they had their first phone conversation. Conor, a former Chestertown resident, was visiting a friend in Rhode Island. Kathleen had just graduated from Loyola University in Baltimore, where she had studied mental health in the military, and she was living with her parents in Salisbury.

From 10:30 p.m. until 6 a.m., they talked about their childhoods, their families, their dreams. Night after night, the marathon phone conversations went on like that.

"He was just so genuine, you felt you could open up to him about anything and everything," Kathleen said.
On Tuesday, she got a call from Conor, who had just gotten good news at Camp Pendleton: He'd been promoted to first lieutenant. But he didn't want to put on his new pin yet. He wanted to wait until he was back home with Kathleen so that she could do it.

"I only have a couple of seconds to talk," she recalled him telling her. "But I want to tell you how much I love you. How much I miss you."
read more here

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Family of Marine fighting suicide investigation

Family convinced Longmont Marine's death not suicide


Times Call
By John Spina
Staff Writer
POSTED: 03/28/2019

Riley Schultz's relatives cite his plans to visit next month as evidence
The night before Riley Schultz, a 19-year old Marine from Longmont, was found shot at his post at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, he paid his credit card bill. The week before, he booked a plane ticket home in mid-April so he could visit his family before he was set to be deployed to South Africa.
Loveland residents and Immanuel Lutheran Church congregants line the street and wave American flags Thursday as a hearse carrying the body of Marine Lance Cpl. Riley Schultz arrives at the church in Loveland. While the Marine Corps has ruled Schultz's death a suicide, his family is convinced he did not take his own life because they said he had not shown any signs of distress. (Jenny Sparks / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

So when his family found out the Marine Corps determined his death was a suicide, they were dumbfounded.

"There's no way he committed suicide," Schultz's aunt, Danielle Spielman, said. "He had just told me that he was going to give me his motorcycle helmet when he came home so I could look out for it for him while he was deployed. He loved the Marines and the fact they ruled his death as a suicide when he showed no signs of distress makes me sick to my stomach."

The situation was even more exasperating because just three days earlier, the Marines had called Schultz's mom, Misty Schultz-McCoy, and told her their investigation found that his death was not a suicide, meaning he would receive full military honors, including a memorial service at Camp Pendleton.

The Secretary of the Navy even sent the family a certificate for a gold star saying, "In grateful memory of Lance Corporal Riley Alexander Schultz who died while in the service of our county as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps."

Nevertheless, on Wednesday, 12 days after his death, the Marine Corps switched its position, releasing a statement saying; "the lead medical examiner investigating the March 15 death of Lance Cpl. Riley Schultz, a Marine with 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, has determined the cause of death as suicide."

Not only was the family heartbroken, but Schultz's death being classified a suicide means he will not receive an official memorial at Camp Pendleton and his family will not receive any military benefits.
read more here

Monday, March 25, 2019

Camp Pendleton Marine found dead

Marine Found Dead at Camp Pendleton Guard Post from Gunshot Wound to Head


Daily Times-Call, Longmont, Colo.
By John Spina
24 Mar 2019

In the early morning hours of March 15, Riley Schultz, a 19-year-old Marine from Longmont, was found at his guard post in Camp Pendleton, San Diego with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Less than 30 minutes later he was pronounced dead.

With an ongoing investigation into Schultz's death, the Marine Corps would not release any additional information regarding the incident. It did say, however, there will be a memorial for the fallen marine April 3 at Camp Pendleton.

Schultz, then 17, joined the Marine Corps in 2017, just before graduating from Roosevelt High School in Johnstown. With both of his grandfathers serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War, Schultz had long dreamed of becoming a Marine. Even as a 3-year-old his grandmother, Kathleen Schultz, remembers him practicing his army crawl with his dad and playing with toy tanks and trucks.

"He just loved the whole idea of being a Marine," his mom, Misty Schultz-McCoy, said. "That was his only plan for after high school. I was worried, but that's what he wanted to do. He was so dedicated to it. It never occurred to me that he could die before he left for deployment."
read more here

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Marine saved baby, while upgrading his phone?

Marine saves choking baby at Liberty Station

10 News
Cassie Carlisle
October 15, 2018

"I did what I was trained to do I don't think I'm a hero more than anyone else would be," Lewellen said. He was thinking of his own two children while saving the baby. He has a 3-year old and a 3-week-old.

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Marine was honored Monday at Camp Pendleton for his bravery mid-September when he saved a choking baby.

Private First Class Jonathan Lewellen was on leave after graduating boot camp before starting combat training. He was upgrading his phone at the Liberty Station Verizon store when he heard a mother screaming her son's name.

"She wasn’t hysterical but she was panicked," Verizon Store Manager Cecil Silva said. "He [Lewellen] looked and his instincts just kicked in, like he literally jumped over a desk we had, jumped over the railing, ran through the bushes and just attended to the baby."

Lewellen asked the mother if he could help, then performed CPR, and scooped mucus out of the baby's throat.
read more here

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Marine Reservist pleaded guilty to killing puppy!

St. Louis woman admits drowning, abusing puppy in California
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
By Robert Patrick
Aug 28, 2018

ST. LOUIS • A woman from St. Louis pleaded guilty to a felony animal cruelty charge in federal court Tuesday and admitted abusing and drowning a puppy on a U.S. Marine Corps base in California.

Brittney Shanae Dyson admitted dunking Bella in a bucket of water, bleach and Pine-Sol cleaner on June 16, 2016, in a house on Camp Pendleton in Oceanside.

The Dachshund-terrier mix was about 6 months old and weighed less than 20 pounds, Dyson’s plea says, and struggled frantically, clawing at the sides of the bucket.

A necropsy the next day found evidence that Bella’s leg had been fractured by blunt force within three weeks of her death, and Dyson admitted “on occasion” striking the dog “with great force.”
read more here

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Camp Pendleton Marine Missing At Sea

Search underway for Camp Pendleton Marine missing at sea
San Diego Union Tribune
Andrew Dyer
August 10, 2018

An all-hands effort is underway near the Philippines to find a U.S. Marine reported overboard Thursday morning from the amphibious assault ship Essex.
An MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft prepared to depart the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD 2) on July 17. The Essex and its crew of sailors and marines left San Diego July 10. (U.S. Navy)

The unidentified Marine is deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit based out of Camp Pendleton.

The Essex left Naval Base San Diego with its complement of Marines on July 10.

The Navy, Marine Corps and Philippine ships and aircraft are searching the Sulu Sea, where the ship was conducting routine operations, the Marines said in a news release Friday.

“It is an all-hands effort to find our missing Marine,” said Navy Capt. Gerald Olin, the amphibious squadron commander leading the search and rescue operation, in a statement. “All of our sailors, Marines and available assets aboard the USS Essex have been and will continue to be involved in this incredibly important search and rescue operation.”
read more here

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Female Navy Corpsman Murdered Friday Night

Man Arrested In Fatal Shooting Of Navy Corpsman In Oceanside
By California News Wire Services
News Partner
Jul 21, 2018
The woman was identified as Devon Rideout, 24, a Navy corpsman stationed at Camp Pendleton.

OCEANSIDE, CA – The woman fatally shot at an Oceanside apartment Friday afternoon was identified as a Navy corpsman, and a suspect is in custody, police said Saturday.

The shooting took place at a building at 550 Los Arbolitos Blvd around 4 p.m. Friday, Oceanside police said.

Responding officers found the woman shot. Paramedics tried to save her but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
read more here

Friday, July 13, 2018

Days before wedding, Camp Pendleton Marine killed in car crash

Sergeant Galvan dies three days before wedding
23 ABC News Bakersfield
Emma Lockhart
Jul 12, 2018
His death happened just three days before his wedding. He leaves behind his fianceƩ and unborn child.
BAKERSFIELD, CA - It was a day of honor at Hillcrest Memorial Park, where Sergeant George Daniel Galvan was laid to rest Thursday morning.

Friends, family and community members celebrated the life of the 23-year-old Marine from Bakersfield. Galvan died from a car crash on June 30th, 2018 near Camp Pendleton where he was stationed.
read more here and see video report

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sailor in critical condition after hit from helicopter blade

UPDATE 2/25/2018

Marines Identify Flight Surgeon Who Died After Struck by Rotor Blade

Officials have identified a Navy officer who succumbed to his injuries after being struck by a spinning helicopter blade Feb. 21.

Navy Lt. James E. Mazzuchelli, 32, died Saturday after he was critically injured by the tail rotor of a UH-1Y Venom, officials with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing said in a statement. read the rest here

UPDATE
Camp Pendleton Sailor Dies From Rotor Injury
Paramedics took the victim to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, where the sailor was pronounced dead at about 5:45 a.m. Saturday -- a little more than two days after the incident.

Camp Pendleton Sailor in Critical Condition After Being Struck by Spinning Helicopter Blade
KTLA 5 News
BY ERIKA MARTIN
FEBRUARY 23, 2018

A U.S. Marine Corps sailor stationed at Camp Pendleton remained in critical condition two days after being hospitalized with injuries sustained from a military helicopter, base officials said Friday.

A UH-1Y Venom helicopter, the type of aircraft involved in the critical injury of a sailor at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, is seen in an image from Aug. 28, 2008, released by the U.S. Marine Corps.

The sailor was struck by the tail rotor blade while on deck around 6:10 p.m. Wednesday, according to a news release from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, the aviation unit to which the troop is assigned.

The sailor was taken to a hospital near the base, where he remained on Friday, officials said.

The military has not publicly identified the injured service member.
read more here

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Camp Pendleton Marine killed in car crash

Marine from Riverside who served multiple deployments killed in car crash
Orange County Register
By ERIKA I. RITCHIE
February 3, 2018

CAMP PENDLETON A 27-year-old Marine from Riverside was killed early Friday in a single car crash near the north end of Camp Pendleton, military officials said Saturday, Feb. 3.

The Marine has been identified as Sgt.John D. Wise III. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, said Capt. Paul Gainey.

Wise was found dead at 12:38 a.m. on southbound Cristianitos Road one mile outside Camp Pendleton’s Cristianitos Gate, according to reports from the California Highway Patrol and Camp Pendleton Fire Department.

It appeared he could have come off the off-ramp at Cristianitos headed toward Camp Pendleton, said CHP Public Safety Dispatcher Morrison.
read more here


Monday, December 25, 2017

US Service Members Celebrating Christmas

Santa's Signal
Navy Lt. Larry Young, dressed as Santa Claus, signals to launch an F/A-18 E Super Hornet on the flight deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Persian Gulf, Dec. 21, 2017, as the aircraft carrier supports security efforts in the region. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Victoria Foley


Bagram Visit
Medal of Honor recipient and retired Army Capt. Flo Groberg speaks to service members as Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stands by during a USO Holiday Tour show at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 24, 2017. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Divine Cox

 Holiday Hilarity
Service members take in the 2017 USO Holiday Tour show at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 24, 2017. Performers included actor Adam Devine, comedian Iliza Shlesinger and country singer Jerrod Niemann. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Divine Cox


 Swimming Santa
Santa Claus, commanding officer of Holiday Cheer, Northpolecom, conducts basic swim qualifications at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Dec. 19, 2017. Claus and all operational reindeer must pass the qualifications every two years to maintain their water survival skills. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Evan Ahlin

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Don't Let This Story Break Your Heart--Make a Miracle!

Marine's son might not be able to keep his prosthetic arm

10 News ABC
Hannah Mullins
December 2, 2017

TEMECULA (KGTV) - When the school year started, Kaleb Evans made up his mind to join the orchestra. 
“I was worried,” his mom, Tiffany Evans, said. “My first thought was how?”
He was born without part of his arm. 
“He’s got so much courage,” Tiffany said. 
His dad, who is an enlisted Marine at Camp Pendleton, knew they would find a way. They had a prosthetic arm made, and he quickly learned to play his first song.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Camp Pendleton Marines Homestyle Thanksgiving With Seniors

Marines find a home for the holiday at Murrieta senior community
The Press Enterprise
Shane Newell
November 23, 2017

“It’s a marvelous feeling you have to have them here,” said Sharon Boll, the Murrieta resident who organized this year’s event. “It’s the first time they’ve been away from home on a holiday like that.”

US Marine Pfc. Ryan Nguyen, 18, from St. Louis Missouri digs into the turkey during Thanksgiving dinner at Murrieta resident Sharon Boll home, Boll hosted three Marines and 27 neighbors at her home for Thanksgiving in Murrieta Thursday, November 23, 2017. FRANK BELLINO, THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE/SCNG

They may not have spent the holiday at home, but 55 Camp Pendleton Marines got all the comforts of a homemade feast on Thanksgiving in Murrieta.
read more here 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

E. Coli Outbreak Sent 69 Marines to Hospital

69 Marines hospitalized in California E. Coli outbreak

Associated Press
November 4, 2017
Overall, about 300 Marines have been affected by a week-old outbreak of the diarrheal illness.

U.S. Marine Corps drill instructors with Receiving Company, Support Battalion, welcome new recruits to the depot as they get off the bus and step onto the yellow footprints during receiving at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Calif., Jan. 19, 2016.ANGELICA ANNASTAS/U.S. MARINE CORPS 

SAN DIEGO — The Marine Corps says 69 recruits in Southern California are being treated for apparent exposure to E. coli and nine have developed a serious complication.
Those being treated Friday include 14 new cases among some 5,500 recruits at Camp Pendleton and the San Diego recruiting depot. The military says nine developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a problem that can cause anemia and kidney damage.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Camp Pendleton Marines Death Under Investigation

Officials Investigating Death of Marine at Reconnaissance Course

Military.com
by Hope Hodge Seck
9 Sep 2017

Marine Corps officials have yet to determine the cause of death for a private first class who was found unresponsive during a training event last month at Camp Pendleton, California.
Michael P. Giannattasio (Photo courtesy Modetz Funeral Homes)


Pfc. Michael P. Giannattasio had been attending the Basic Reconnaissance Course at School of Infantry West, a physically demanding training course required for those who want to join the elite ranks of reconnaissance Marines.

He was discovered unconscious during a land navigation training event Aug. 30, according to a spokesman from Marine Corps Training and Education Command, Capt. Joshua Pena.

The San Diego Union-Tribune first reported Giannatasio's death.

Giannatasio, 22, was from Armada, Mich. According to a published obituary, he was the fourth of eight children.
read more here

Monday, August 14, 2017

Camp Pendleton National Navajo Code Talkers Day

On National Navajo Code Talkers Day, a look back at what started at Camp Pendleton
San Diego Union Tribune
Jeanette Steele
August 14, 2017
Navajo Code Talkers took part in every U.S. Marine Corps assault in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. They transmitted messages by telephone and radio in their native language — a code the Japanese never broke. 

The idea came from Los Angeles resident Philip Johnston, a World War I veteran raised on a Navajo reservation as a missionary’s son. He took his concept to the Marines at Camp Elliot in San Diego, now Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. 

In May 1942, the first 29 Navajo recruits attended boot camp. Afterward, at Camp Pendleton, this group created the Navajo code for military terms. 
read more here

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Marine Platoon Escorting "Brother" to Final Assignment

Fallen Iowa Marine’s family raising money to fly his platoon in for the funeral

WQAD News 8
Christina Lorey
August 9, 2017

ELDORA, Iowa-- Lance Corporal Cody Haley was just 20-years-old when he died Friday. Now, his family in Iowa is doing everything they can to bring his Marine family back to his home state for the service.

Haley's family hit their goal Wednesday, raising $35,000 to bring his Marine family to Haley's funeral.

Haley died in a freak accident, when a tree landed on him during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton. In response, his fellow Marines set a cross on a large hilltop in California and held their own wake, where they sang and played guitar.