Three years ago this Thursday, 19-year-old Private Danny Chen was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Chen had recently enlisted in the US Army, hoping it would prepare him for a career in the NYPD. According to the New York Post, Chen was initially thrilled about his budding military career.
“[H]ooah for leaving,” he wrote in his diary on his way to basic training last January. “Excited as heck.”
But, within months of his deployment to Afghanistan, Chen’s mother, Su Zhen Chen, was receiving the news no parent of a soldier wants to hear: Private Chen was dead. Worse yet, his death appears to have come as the tragic culmination of weeks of abuse committed by the men — all White — who should have been his brothers-in-arms.