On Thursday the Chen family shared new information at a press conference about Danny Chen's death. Chen was a soldier based at Fort Wainwright, who apparently committed suicide in Afghanistan. A spokesperson for the family said Army officials told them Wednesday the 19-year-old was subject to abuse and excessive exercises—mistreatment that his family claimed ultimately led to his death.
“Rocks were thrown at him to simulate artillery coming at him. He was subjected to racial slurs,” said Elizabeth Ouyang from the Organization of Chinese Americans.Chen was found dead October 3rd in an Afghanistan guardhouse, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“We must be able to see that justice can be served,” said Ouyang. “What happened to Danny can happen to any one of us because of the color of our skin and the shape of our eyes.”
But what resources do soldiers have overseas if they become the target of their own side?
U.S. Army Alaska public affairs officer Bill Coppernoll said every battalion size unit and below has representatives to help with various issues.
That includes a unit chaplain to counsel a variety of emotional and spiritual needs. There’s also the chain of command. Commanders at every level have to maintain an open door policy so soldiers can report any issues that need to be addressed. An inspector general is available to provide assistance to soldiers, and a soldier can file an informal or formal equal opportunity complaint to their equal opportunity advisor, who deals with issues of mistreatment or discrimination due to race, religion or gender. And for mental health issues or for signs of suicide, the Department of Defense pushes the A.C.E. model:
Ask how they're doing
Care enough to do something
Escort the person to get help.
To find out more information, visit: Http://www.usarak.army.mil/crisisassistance/