Wednesday, December 21, 2011

National News

I just read one of the most disturbing and shocking stories that I have ever read.
8 Army officers 1st Lt. Daniel J. Schwartz, Staff Sgt. Blaine G. Dugas, Staff Sgt. Andrew J. Van Bockel, Sgt. Adam M. Holcomb, Sgt. Jeffrey T. Hurst, Spc. Thomas P. Curtis, Spc. Ryan J. Offutt and Sgt. Travis F. Carden were charged in Private Danny Chen's death.

The charges are dereliction of duty to making a false statement to assault, negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.

They are unsure if Private Chen's death was suicide or if one or more of these men were behind Private Chen being shot. The Private died at a small combat outpost in Kandahar province the official cause is a self inflicted gun shot wound.

My opinion of this: While these soldiers are all innocent until proven guilty there has to be substantial evidence of the violence and bad behavior towards this young Private in order for the 8 to be charged the military told Private Chen's parents that they were abusive to him and called him racial names.

I know that not all people are suited for military life and if this was the case with Private Chen he should have been excused from the war zone and a more suitable job found for him. I know that would be living in a perfect world which we do not and the military needs bodies holding guns. Yet when you have a young person sign up to serve they are doing it voluntarily for various reasons, they love our country, they are trying to better themselves maybe its that they want the G.I. Bill so they can go to college. No one especially their commanding officers should ever lay a hand on them. The verbal abuse is common in all branches of the military especially the Army and Marine Corps. Men and women in war zones need to be tough they have to see too much for their young lives. But there has to be a better way. Why did none of the Commanding Officers step up to stop the abuse, that is their job to lead and to bring them all home alive. It would be shocking enough if his fellow soldiers did this to him but for his officers, seasoned men who know better, to do this makes it much worse. 

When I read about this young mans death and the charges I started crying, I cried for the lost life, for the betrayal by his leaders. For the betrayal to all of us that love America and our military for with out them we could not stay free. It saddens me that this could still happen.

Read about it:
Washington Post
New York Daily
New York Times
Huffington Post
Daily Mail