November 16, 1989 – February 1, 2022
Specialist Joey Lenz, a tactical power generation specialist assigned to the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, of Conroe, Texas was serving in the United States Army at Fort Hood, Texas at the time of his death. He enlisted in the Army on September 18, 2017, completed Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina on December 4, 2017, and Advanced Individual Training as a 91D Generator Mechanic at Fort Lee, Virginia on March 7, 2018.
Joey was deployed to the Republic of Korea, October 2019 through February 2021 where he served as a Tactical Power Generator Specialist. As a generator mechanic he received many accolades including the National Defense Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon.
After re-enlisting in October 2020, he had a change of career paths and was preparing to be Honorably Discharged from the Army in the next month, to live in Conroe, Texas and to explore civilian options as a Generator Mechanic
Unfortunately, Joey did not get the chance to take this next step in life. On February 1, 2022 while sleeping in his barracks at Fort Hood, Army Specialist Joey Lenz died from a fatal heart attack (and mixed drug intoxication interaction according to the Army). Several indicators contributed to his death including a toxic and hostile leadership, prescription drug interaction, depression, and anxiety.
His heart was extremely enlarged due to the environment, mental stress, and the drugs. This was preventable and intervention could have saved his life.
The Army is not forthcoming with his cause of death. It was not suicide or natural causes. An autopsy took place prior to his body being released to his mother on February 4, 2022. He was prescribed these drugs only January 2022- Trazadone, Cyclobenzaprine, Fluoxetine, and Propranolol.
After his memorial service hosted by the Company at Fort Hood on February 24, 2022, 30 soldiers told stories in an enclosed private area about Joey’s kindness towards others in his Army life. Lenz’s mother, Margie Taylor, said her son enjoyed his Army life, that he didn’t want to leave, but he was being “pushed out.”
Since his death, Taylor learned her son was being bullied and targeted by a captain who has since been moved. Taylor said Lenz’s staff sergeant and lieutenant colonel were also moved in recent weeks. Soldiers and NCO officers also shared the reality of abuse by his Company Captain Shane Boyd he was subjected to daily. The harassment may have led to his anxiety and why he was prescribed 9 drugs in the month since she saw him alive, Christmas Day.
The Lt. Col reported to his mother, Margie Taylor, Joey was only prescribed fluoxetine, trazadone, cyclobenzaprine, and propranolol since Christmas. In combination, they slow the heart rate and lower the blood pressure. Joey was also over medicated by on base clinic March 17, 2021, when he went in for an eye infection and migraines. He was provided 4 drugs-amitriptyline, diphenhydramine, rizatriptan, and ketorolac which in combination caused him to be unconscious.
A physician called Margie from the base to do an emergency MRI on his brain. He did have some sort of stroke. After the physician’s call, Mrs. Taylor tracked Joey down 8 hours later in the ICU at Fort Hood on base. The medics tried to change his record to reflect he over-medicated himself. The ICU nurses backed up the truth, but now the incident is swiped from Joey’s medical record. However, Margie has the original discharge paperwork in her possession.
After fighting to get the medical records for 6 months, Margie Taylor received the 541 pages (with many redactions) the first week in August. Fort Hood and the Army would not release the medical records because they needed a document from a judge designating Mom as “Next of Kin and his mother”. Congressman Brady’s office called daily for a week, and Margie Taylor received the records, but not all of them.
After going through 541 pages of Joey’s medical records while in the Army, there were many discoveries the Army failed to provide:
- Joey had indications of an internal bleeding or possible heart issues when he was hospitalized on ICU from over medication in March 2021. There was no follow up. He should have been medically discharged for a heart issue.
- He was in a toxic environment with a commanding officer the targeted him for over a year. His peers were worried of his depression and asked his chain of command to help Joey. They drug tested him and gave him more drugs that intensified the heart condition and did not interact well together causing serotonin syndrome.
- The Army reported in a Criminal Investigation Report that Joey was prescribed 4 meds in January. This was false. He was prescribed nine– including a psychotropic and a fatal cocktail of other drugs. No lab work was performed prior to prescribing meds. This killed him one month later.
- Annual check in is a “self-check in” with no tests at all or a physical. This could have saved his life and other military lives. Last time anyone saw Joey was Christmas Day 2021. He was not on any prescriptions at that time. Joey died Feb 1 of an enlarged heart, 3X the normal for a 32-year-old man, according to a Medical Examiner. The Army failed to say this in the autopsy report or the Criminal Investigation Report.
Joey loved the Army. He loved the boundaries, the guidance. He loved getting recognized for doing a good job.
He was an enthusiastic, caring, and kind young man known for his deep passion of all animals especially cats and dogs. He always had a cat living with him in civilian life. While a soldier in the Army he was pursuing opportunities to volunteer at the local animal shelter. Joey was looking forward to having a pet when he came back home.
Even when he was depressed, at times anxious, he was always respectful. He was known to give people his smile. People loved being around him. He was the life of the party and he made people feel good about himself. Some people make your life just a little better and he was one of them. He was that guy.
Notable News Articles
The Lenz Family Military Legacy
Served in Marine Corps in the 70s
Clarence served in the Army during WWII. Clarence passed away June 2018 at the age of 95.
*Generational photo shows Clarence (Grandfather), Ted (Father), and Joey (Son)
Lt. Colonel in the Army
As a young man during World War ll Eddie gained editing experience working on propaganda films of the day. After the war he transitioned into short films, features and eventually television where he enjoyed a long career He was editor for Gilligan’s Island, Rawhide, Guns of Navarone, and other TV and motion pictures. He passed away in 1974 at the age of 63
“On what would have been his 33rd birthday, family, friends and supporters of U.S. Army Spc. Joey Martens Lenz gathered at the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Park in Conroe to dedicate a park bench in his memory.
In addition to the park bench that now features his picture and information, there is also a shadow box of his memories hanging in the meeting room at Conroe’s veteran-themed eatery Honor Café. ” – Conroe News
A Facebook page dedicated to life and memory of Joey Lenz. Follow Margie Taylor as she documents her path seeking accountability of the wrongful death of her son, SPC. Joey Lenz.
Joey Martens Lenz
Army Specialist Fort Hood
Echo Forward Support Company
3 rd Brigade Engineer Battalion
3 rd Armor Brigade Combat Team
1 st Calvary Division