The officers in command of the battalion of Pvt. Danny Chen, who the Army says committed suicide in Afghanistan in October after being hazed by fellow soldiers, were aware of the harsh treatment he had repeatedly received, his family said Thursday.
The family had already been told by investigators that other soldiers had taunted Private Chen with racial epithets and forced him to crawl on the ground while they pelted him with rocks. But this week, new details of his treatment were disclosed to the family.
At a news conference, family members and their supporters said Private Chen had been mistreated virtually every day of his six-week stint in Afghanistan. They said he had been called a “gook,” a “chink” and “dragon lady.” He was also forced to wear a green helmet and shout orders in Chinese, to a battalion that had no other Chinese-American soldiers, they said.
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Editor's note: Many of the families in this group can relate to this story. Our sons and daughters were subjected to similar group bullying within the military services. We have been kept in the dark. The details have been buried by the military, even though we have spent years and a great deal of money in legal fees to try to get answers.
We are happy that, at last, a light in being shone on these abuses. We are glad that politicians and the local communities of victims are coming forward and forcing public attention.
We'd like to think that we have had some part in getting this change for the better.