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Former Marine from Camp Pendleton found dead in Yellowstone Park, an apparent suicide

Kastner A former Marine sergeant from Camp Pendleton who served two combat tours in Iraq has been found dead in Yellowstone Park, an apparent suicide, park officials said Tuesday.

The body of Peter Louis Kastner, 25, was found in a remote part of the sprawling park. An autopsy revealed that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said. He had been missing since May 31.

His parents told park officials that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had twice been injured by roadside bomb explosions. His medals include the Combat Action Ribbon awarded to troops who have been under enemy fire.

Kastner graduated from boot camp in San Diego in 2003, earning a perfect 300 score on the physical fitness test. An infantry rifleman, he served with the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Division that deployed to Anbar province in Iraq.

Since leaving the Marines in 2007 he had moved to Oklahoma City and enrolled in college to study accounting. A funeral is set for July 31 in Chippewa Falls, Wis., where Kastner's parents live.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Peter Kastner. Credit: National Park Service

Comments () | Archives (14)

RIP young man.

My heart goes out to his parents.

God Bless You, Peter~ Rest in peace~~~ We thank you for your service and know that PTSD is such a terrible result of war and conflicts, whether @ war or @ home~~~


Very sad and a tragedy this intelligent and honorable young man's life was changed as it was by circumstances in Iraq.

My heart goes out to his family and friends. How tragic to lose our finest not at war but at home! I really hope the military is there for his family to help them through this time.

It breaks my heart to read this story, especially as a former Marine.

You get your DD214; you served in the most noble branch, USMC; you're first to go in and last to return; you may get some kind of "severence" pay for the post traumatic stress; people could care less about your sacrifice for your country; you return to some local community college in hopes of making a comeback to "the real world," and then you see your hopes and dreams fizzle because the rigid lifestyle of a Marine doesn't transfer into the civilian world.

Semper Fidelis and may God bless your soul.

The V.A. system needs to do more for our returning veterans. Clearly they are treating physical injuries, but as always in our society, mental health issues are being glossed over and considered unimportant. This, unfortunatley is the result.

It is so sad and depressing to read this crap.
Semper Fi, Marine
Rest in Peace

to 1345 Heavy Equip Operator,
I care.

To his parents, I cry for your son and all those who have served our country and who feel that there is nothing left for them, please know my heart goes out to you

It was a pleasure working with you bro. All of us who were apart of 2/4 fox 2nd plt miss you bro. Semper Fi

Rest in Peace Marine,a lot of us do care!
Semper Fi.

I had the honor of serving with him for 4 years. he was a great man and I will never forget him. r. I. p. brother.

It tears my heart that this young man with his background of service to his country could not receive the nurturing care that he needed after his service. My sincere condolences to his family.

Sgt. Kastner,
It was a very true honor serving with you my brother.... In my eyes and many others you were a very great Marine and as a junior marine to you I want to Thank You for all that you have taught me and also the very limited talks we had on life. Although you were a very silent man I feel that our conversations helped me understand the real Peter and not the robotic, monotone, super fit Marine that some only truly knew. I miss you everyday brother. I will see you again.


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