MONALAPAN – On February 25, the Roman Catholic Church of St. Thomas More hosted a memorial service for 24-year-old Kyle Malena of Manalapan, who died on February 4 in preparation for becoming a U.S. fur seal.
On February 6, the U.S. Navy confirmed that Mullen, a SEAL candidate appointed to command the base training of the Navy’s Special Navy, died at Sharpe Coronada Hospital, Coronada, California, at 5:42 p.m., Feb. 4.
The Navy said that earlier, on February 4, Mullen and his Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL class had successfully completed Hell Week, an evaluation event during the first phase of the Navy SEAL evaluation and attribution selection.
The Navy said the cause of Mullen’s death was being investigated.
During the eulogy at Mullen’s funeral Mass, Mullen’s older brother T.J. began his remarks with the words, “I’m sure he’d like to see the outpouring of support” the family has received over the past three weeks.
TJ said that Kyle, although he was his “younger brother”, was actually twice as big as him and “more than life”.
“Kyle affected more people than any of us could understand,” he said.
TJ recalled playing sharks and minnows, baseball, wriggling, human hunting, “Capturing the Flag,” fishing and video games, and skiing with his brother, and said, “We never got a blast wherever we were. ».
He said he could imagine Kyle jumping with a cone on his head and KanJam on his belt.
“Kyle wouldn’t want to be remembered for hard times … but laugh at the absurdities of life,” TJ said.
He said Kyle did not regret for a moment that he enlisted in the Navy, and lived by his mother’s motto: “It’s all in your head, and if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
He said Kyle considered SEALs “the best of the best” and said his brother “never learned the meaning of the word“ throw ”. ”
He said his brother knew death was possible – and that nightmare has now become a reality, said TJ – but added: “Kyle may not have had wealth, but he had a life full of pride.”
TJ said his brother loved the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” and Victor Frankl’s book “The Man in Search of Meaning”. He said Kyle believed that even in the darkest moments of life one can find the highest purpose and meaning of life.
“He wanted to fight the dark forces facing our world,” TJ said. “Even the cruelty of death cannot extinguish the light of my brother’s life.”
Malena Regina’s mother spoke further and thanked the community, family members, friends and people around the United States for their support.
“I can’t believe the stories I’ve heard about my son. He was definitely the light of my life and the lives of his brothers, my family and many others, ”she said.
She said she had to remove a poster from Kyle’s wall in California, and laughed because he wasn’t allowed to stick anything on the wall and the paint chipped, but the quote said, “Today I’m going to do what others won’t do. so that tomorrow I can do what others cannot. “
Malen said she found a handwritten note Kyle wrote on March 19, 2010, when he was 12, analyzing a quote from Henry Ford: “Obstacles are the scary things you see when you look away from your goal.”
She said Kyle associates Ford’s words with sports and how, if you tell yourself you’ll win, it’s likely to happen because you’ll have the confidence and motivation not to worry about other people preventing you from killing.
Malen said Kyle linked the quote to Barack Obama, who was pursuing his goals even if people thought a black man could not become president. But, she said, Obama received an excellent education and “watched the award.”
And she said Kyle recounted those words to Ford, who followed his own quote, and although he probably failed several times, he didn’t let those failures stop him.
In blue, which was Kyle’s favorite color, Malen said she was one of those who “definitely tried” to dissuade her son from joining the Navy. She said she did not want him to leave. However, he wanted to save others.
“He’s definitely my hero,” she said.
She said Kyle was very happy in California and said he had amazing friends, “good guys” as he called them and she was able to meet his friends and hear “weird” stories about her son.
Malen said she spoke to Kyle on the day of his death, saying he was happy to have been trained.
“I’m fine, Mom, I love you,” she recalled, as he said. “We will all miss him very much. I love him so much. I am always proud of them forever. “
In the obituary is located from Freeman’s funeral home, Manalapan, Mullen’s family wrote: “Kyle will be remembered for the countless ways he has brought joy to family, friends and all those who have encountered him throughout his life. The last few days we have been impressed with the outpouring of love and support we have received.
”… Kyle has a seemingly endless impact on this world, affecting the lives of many. Wherever we turn, another friend or neighbor talks about how Kyle touched or inspired their lives.
“From cutting figures on the dance floor, to helping the elderly or disabled at All In A Day Medical Center, to leading teammates to winning at Manalapan High School, Yale University and Monmouth University, Kyle put all his heart into everything he did. .
“While we are devastated by the loss of Kyle, we cannot be more proud. Kyle dreamed of serving others and enlisted in the Navy hoping to join the best of the best – seals. He would not be satisfied with anything less.
“Kyle was exactly where he wanted to be in life when he was with his fellow sailors-warriors-classmates in Coronada. He took on all the challenges, and failure was not an option, as he sought to achieve his goal – to go through the Week of Hell and get a brown shirt.
“Kyle didn’t believe in defeat or surrender. … He accepted any challenge, overcame all obstacles and encouraged others to do the same. … While we are suffering now, Kyle would like us all to come together and not only survive but prosper and live life to the fullest.
“Kyle’s spirit illuminated the world with joy, compassion, courage and strength. The cruelty of death cannot be extinguished, much less dimmed by the light that Kyle’s life has brought into this world. He will always continue to inspire and motivate us, ”the Malen family wrote.
Mullen was a class member in 2015 at Manalapana High School.
Donations to the Navy SEAL Foundation in honor of Malena can be made at www.navysealfoundation.org
The foundation helps support SEAL and their families.
Donations can also be made to the GiveButter campaign at https://givebutter.com/kylemullen
All proceeds will be used to celebrate Kyle’s life, and the extra funds will be used to support any future memorials, scholarships or programs his family plans to create so that Kyle continues to have a positive impact in the years to come, according to the obituary.
Jennifer Amata, editor-in-chief of Media Group, contributed to this article.