I have been closely monitoring the military hazing case of Danny Chen, and am deeply disturbed by what has transpired with the trials of his perpetrators. Please read my most recent Op-Ed in the New York Times, Military Hazing Has to Stop.
Recently, the first of eight in Danny’s hazing case went to trial. Instead of the maximum sentence of 17 years, he got off with only 30 days in jail. Today, the second perpetrator was handed 6 months prison time, when the maximum sentence was four years.
Danny faced six weeks of abuse, was called “chink” and “gook”, dragged across gravel on his back and had rocks and bottles thrown at him to simulate artillery. After enduring this abuse, he went up to his guard tower and committed suicide. And despite all of this, two of those responsible for his horrendous hazing walk off with lesser punishments.
As you know, this is a personal issue for me because a year ago, my nephew Harry was a victim of military hazing. After three hours and twenty-two minutes of being punched, kicked and assaulted, and having a sandbag poured over his face and in his mouth, he shot himself with his own rifle. One of the three perpetrators got off with a slap on the wrist, 30-day jail sentence. The other two walked away scot free.
And now history is repeating itself with Danny Chen’s case.
Military hazing must stop. The military must do more to protect our brave sons and daughters from abuse at the hands of their fellow soldiers.
I also created this petition calling for a zero-tolerance policy for hazing in our military. Sign on Here to tell DoD that they must act now and do more to protect our service men and women.
I hope to continue to count on your advocacy on this issue. Together, we can make sure other military families don’t ever have to suffer frouch devastating losses.
Member of Congress
P.S. Please remember to read my NY Times Op-Ed. Here is the link.