Great Britain

Mom of Fort Hood soldier who hanged himself with a dog leash blames cursed base for his death

THE MOTHER of a Fort Hood soldier who killed himself blames the army base for his death.

Shortly after being transferred to Fort Hood, an army base located in Fort Hood, Texas, Logan Castello killed himself on November 20 of last year.

According to his mother, Patty Troyan, there was no indication that anything was going to happen leading up to his death.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Mail, Troyan, 46, revealed her son had no other plans than joining the military and dressed up in army camouflage for Halloween when he was seven years old.

Castello attended basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia after narrowly missing a place at the Naval Academy.

"Every time we spoke, he was happy and accomplished," Troyan said. "He was in a leadership position in his unit and he was excited."

Within two months of being transferred to Fort Hood, Castello killed himself with a dog leash.

"I don't know what happened at Fort Hood, but it broke him," Troyan told Daily Mail. "He left home excited, positive, motivated. He was proud to be going to Fort Hood and starting his career."

10 months later, Troyan says she has still not received an autopsy report or any explanation why her son was seeing an army psychiatrist days prior to his death.

Troyan said they found a prescription for Vistaril, a sedative used to treat anxiety, and a prescription for beta blocker in his belongings.

"I'm not sure how many times, but I know he had been seeing a psychiatrist," she said. We cannot get the records."

"He did not have any mental health history at all," Troyan added. "There was nothing to indicate what was going to happen."

Kayla Castello, Castello's widow, claims Fort Hood cares more about equipment than its soldiers.

She also said they will never have an answer for what happened as "demons" took over his head.

The couple reportedly went to a concert days before his death.

"It was one of the happiest I had ever seen him," the widow said.

"And the night before he took his life we took our dogs to the lake and we talked about how perfect it was and how happy we were," she added. "It was impossible seeing him ever doing such a thing."

Kayla does not blame the military base for Castello's death however she does believe the base could have done more for her husband.

"If you're a healthcare professional and your patient tells you they are having suicidal thoughts, you don't just pat them on the back and send them off for the day," she said.

Castello is only one of 28 soldiers who have died at Fort Hood in the last 12 months.

Among the list of soldiers is Specialist Vanessa Guillen, who federal officials say was bludgeoned to death in April by a fellow soldier, and Private Gregory Morales, who had gone missing in August 2019. His remains were found in June while searching for Guillen.

Also included is Private Mejhor Morta, who was found drowned in a lake, and Sergeant Elder Fernandes, who was found hanging in a tree the medical examiner determined to be a suicide.

Congress has launched an investigation into the 28 deaths including the homicides of Private Brandon Scott Rosecrans, Specialist Freddy Delacruz Jr. and Specialist Shelby Tyler Jones.

Army Specialist Miguel Yazzie died on July 2 and Private Carlton Chee died after collapsing during a training exercise on Sept. 2, becoming the latest deaths at the army base.

According to Troyan, her son was excited to go to Fort Hood.

"'When he left for Fort Hood and I was hugging him on the front porch and I started to cry, he said: 'Mom, why are you crying?' He said: 'I'm gonna be fine. This is exciting. I can't wait to start my life.' I told him this was the first time in his life that I didn't know exactly when I would see him again," she said.

"I never saw him alive again."

While at Fort Hood, Troyan says her son was placed on isolated duties and became ineligible for deployment because he sought mental health treatment.

She said Castello told her he thought the army base was mismanaged but assured his mother he was fine.

Troyan works as a prison social worker and strongly believes her son should have be hospitalized.

"If someone reports suicidal ideation to a professional, in my experience, they are obligated to protect them from themselves," she said to Daily Mail.

Troyan believes if the base had "taken as much effort" with her son when he was alive as they did after he was dead with his memorial, there would have been no need for a memorial.

Daily Mail reported that eight members of Congress toured Fort Hood last week and found poor living conditions and a culture of fear and low morale.

"I'm deeply concerned about the soldiers here and their families," said Rep. Jackie Spieir.

Rep. Jason Crow, a former Army Ranger, called the barracks among the worst he had ever seen.

"In the military, the small things are big," Crow said. "The command has a big job in front of it. They've got to get in front of units and fix this stuff quickly."

Troyan believes the base is mismanaged and needs restructure and reform "from the top down" in order to protect the soldiers.

"But I am not confident that there will be reforms," she said.

Fort Hood Army Base did not immediately respond to The Sun's request for comment.

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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