‘I want them in jail.’ Family of Navy SEAL who died during ‘Hell Week’ demands answers
The family of Kyle Mullen says it has more questions than answers regarding the 24-year-old’s death.
The Manalapan man died after completing what is known as “Hell Week” so that he could become a Navy SEAL.
Autopsy results just released showed that Mullen died from acute pneumonia, a cause that Mullen’s mother Regina Mullen says was completely preventable if the Navy would have provided her son with proper medical care.
“Hell Week” is a portion of training required to become a SEAL. Sailors do not sleep for five days straight, a training meant to simulate combat.
Mullen completed the event on Feb. 4. He called his mother from San Diego to tell her about it.
“He couldn’t breathe. It wasn’t like tired, he couldn’t get the words out,” Regina says.
As they hung up, Regina would later find out that Mullen was still in the barracks, spitting up blood and not at a Navy hospital.
The autopsy report says Mullen was "being looked after by non-medical personnel…" And that, "He was in a wheelchair most of the time, unable to stand up or walk on his own."
Regina says she found that a sailor caring for her son eventually called a medic on the phone.
“They told my son, if you go to the Navy ER, you can be dropped from SEALs,” Regina says. "They're not allowed to go to the Navy ER, only the BUDS medical, because they don't want the world to know what they're doing to them."
Regina says that when her son found out he could be dropped, he refused to be moved to a hospital. Eventually a paramedic, treating another sailor in the barracks, tended to Mullen, but found him without a pulse.
He would later die.
The Mullen family now wants justice. Regina says she wants the commander in charge – Brad Geary – to be held accountable.
“I want accountability. I want them in jail,” she says. “I want a Congressional hearing with those 20 men that secured ‘Hell Week’ under oath… If the public really knew what went on out there, nobody should sign up.”
Regina says before her son left for training she begged him not to enlist. She feared for his life.
Mullen did secure his place as a Navy SEAL, but Regina says it means nothing to her.