MANALAPAN, NJ – There are calls for reform after a native of New Jersey died and trained to become a US Navy SEAL.
Mother of Kyle Mullen, a Navy SEAL graduate whosays the Navy’s medical negligence resulted in her son’s death, CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reported Monday.
Regina Mullen calls her son Kyle her best friend. The 24-year-old was full of life and was determined to serve his community when he enlisted in the Navy.
“When he was out there, he was happy. He said he made the best decision of his life,” Mullen said.
After becoming a sailor in 2021, Kyle Mullen trained as a SEAL graduate. On February 4, after completing what is known as “Hell’s Week,” an intense part of the workout, he called his mother.
“He’s like ‘I did it mom! I completed Hell Week’ and I was so happy on his behalf,” Mullen said. “And he sounded really bad. He could not breathe.”
Her son died a few hours later, she said.
Mullen said she has been told by people who were there that when her son was in distress, the Navy medical team was not available. When 911 was called, it was too late.
“If he was medically supervised, there is no doubt to me that my son would be alive today,” Mullen said.
Autopsy results have not yet been released, but the registered nurse believes her son died of some form of pneumonia caused by strenuous exercise on land and in water.
To make matters worse, Mullen said she was recently sent an urn with her son’s ashes that had the wrong initials. Over the Easter weekend, she received a $ 3,200 bill for her son’s medical expenses.
Mullen said the Navy has told her the bill was a mistake and has sent her a new urn.
She says her son had no previous medical condition and that his death is a tragedy. Now she is calling for more medical monitoring of SEAL candidates during and after training.
“I need people who are held accountable … Who gave the medical team permission to go home? Why didn’t they answer?” said Mullen. “Why don’t they all get a medical checkup for at least 24 hours after what they have endured?”
She also wants an independent examination and that her son’s autopsy results be expedited.
The US Navy issued the following statement to CBS2:
Naval Special Warfare continues to express our deepest sympathy and full support to the Mullen family.
Several independent investigations are underway into the circumstances surrounding the death of sailor Kyle Mullen. Until the investigations are completed, it is inappropriate to speculate on the cause of death or contributing factors.
The Naval Special Warfare is committed to the safe assessment, selection, and training of Navy commandos in defense of the United States and to be stewards of the special confidence the American people have in our strength.
But after Mullen died, the group said he was not actively training at the time of his death.