The parents of dead soldier Danny Chen said today that the Army told them specific ways he was abused before he died.
Chen was forced to crawl on gravel while soldiers threw rocks at him, and was separately taunted and mocked, all because he was the only Chinese-American in his unit, Elizabeth OuYang, Organization of Chinese Americans president, said on behalf of the family.
“Almost immediately after he arrived, Danny was required to do exercises, which quickly, within a few days, crossed over into abuse,” she said.
His parents met with Army officials at the Fort Hamilton base in Brooklyn Wednesday, where Army officers released the results of their investigation.
He was called “dragon lady” and derogatory phrases, OuYang said, and soldiers told him to give orders in Chinese while they mocked him. He was also forced to do multiple push-ups and sprints.
On Sept. 27, OuYang said, a sergeant dragged Chen out of bed and over gravel, which left him with shoulder bruises and cuts on his back. The top two leaders of the platoon knew about this, she said, but chose not to report it.
Speaking through a translator, his mother, who wept throughout the conference, told reporters that the pain of her only son’s death still has not subsided.
His father urged that the trial of eight fellow soldiers, for an array of counts from dereliction of duty to negligent homicide, should be held in the United States, not in Afghanistan.
“The family has been through absolute hell,” OuYang added. “They must have the right to face those who are found guilty.”
The family also is awaiting answers from 25 questions they asked the Army, they said, which promised a response by Jan. 13.