Battleland

A Young Private’s Suicide Reflects a Massive Failure of Leadership

Private Danny Chen, who committed suicide in Afghanistan last year, had been abused and taunted by his superiors. Though a sergeant involved will only face 30 days in jail, more trials will probe the environment that permitted such treatment

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Reuters

Private Danny Chen

Earlier this week, a military court found Sergeant Adam Holcomb not guilty of the most serious charges stemming from the suicide of Private Danny Chen last year in Afghanistan. Prosecutors argued that Holcomb mistreated the 19-year-old soldier, mentally and physically abusing him and taunting him with racial slurs, which led the young private to shoot himself with his own weapon in his outpost’s guard tower. The jury found Holcomb not guilty of negligent homicide, reckless endangerment and hazing, and found him guilty of maltreatment of a subordinate and assault consummated by battery.

The case gained national attention because the reports of Chen’s abuse by his superiors contained details about consistent racial taunts and a pattern of mistreatment against the soldier, whose parents immigrated to America from China. His death shocked many in the Chinese-American community and shined a spotlight on the treatment of Asian Americans, who make up a much smaller percentage of the force than other minorities.

(MORE: Why the U.S. Military Is Losing the War on Suicide)

The details of Chen’s short time in the Army are heartbreaking, as reported by Jennifer Gonnerman in a powerful New York magazine feature that draws on Chen’s letters, text messages and interviews with his family. According to the article, Chen suffered taunts from the very beginning of basic training for being different from everyone else in his class. Still, he made friends and told his parents he was loving the experience. Yet when he finally got to Afghanistan, he was unprepared and made mistakes that, Holcomb’s lawyers argued, made corrective training necessary.

Though the jury in Holcomb’s criminal case found him not guilty of the most serious charges, he was convicted on assault-and-battery charges stemming from an incident in which Holcomb dragged Chen across the ground because the young private had left the shower water pump on. Holcomb’s lawyer argued that his client did what was necessary to try to correct a soldier in a combat zone and didn’t have time to “babysit” an unprepared young private.

It’s not clear how much this argument swayed the jury in its verdict or the judge’s decision to sentence the sergeant to only 30 days in jail. What is clear is that the events leading to Chen’s death reveal a failure in leadership up and down the chain of command in Chen’s unit. Both of the large issues — the treatment of minority soldiers and the difficulty in dealing with an unprepared, inexperienced soldier in a combat zone — are challenges that units have faced, the latter especially during the past decade of war. The units that do well in combat are ones whose leaders are engaged, pay attention to how their subordinates are handling immense challenges and set left-and-right limits for what junior leaders can and cannot do.

Chen’s treatment didn’t occur in a vacuum; it didn’t happen in a far-flung squad left to fend for itself. It happened in a platoon and a company filled with other noncommissioned officers, who are on the ground with the troops, and the officers above them who should have seen what was going on and stopped it. In the coming weeks, six more court-martial cases related to Chen’s death will come before the court. The first will occur on Aug. 13, when other members of Chen’s chain of command will face charges related to his death. The discussion needs close scrutiny of a command climate in which something like this was allowed to happen.

In the military, whether in a combat zone, a training exercise or at home, leaders have two goals. First, accomplish the mission. Second, care for the soldiers and families under your charge. Those two aims often blend together and sometimes crash against each other, but neither one can be ignored at the other’s expense. In the next seven courts-martial, prosecutors would do well to remind the jury and the country of that distinction.

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Jimmy Ray Thacker
Jimmy Ray Thacker

The military is terrible at handling soldiers. One of my boys asked for help repeatedly after returning from Afghanistan, and after seeing six of his buddies killed on the way home by an IED. Rather than help him, they blasted him and tried kicking him out of the Army. White Sands Missile Base does not even have a doctor they could send him to, and they refused to send him to the closest one at Ft. Hood. He lost his family because no one would help her deal with it, either. There is no leadership in the Army; only officers and NCOs who are otherwise unemployable so they use rank to bully those who do the fighting. That was part of his NCO's excuse; they had not been deployed and didn't understand. It is common, and even more common is when a soldier is given a profile against doing certain things by a medical doctor, no one cares. The "leaders" will still make the soldier do whatever they need, as happened to my other son, who now, at 22, will walk with a limp for the rest of his life because his "leaders" in Germany violated his profile and did not allow him to seek treatment for a torn ACL and MCL. 

MissSterious
MissSterious

I need to apologize, I see that the author is a Combat Vet and served his time in Iraq.  I thank him for his service and sacrifice......Sgt. Holcomb and the other NCO's had done their previous tours in Iraq as well.....only one NCO had ever been to Afghanistan.  

This is my families second generation serving in Afghanistan and I know several who have deployed to both places........ALL have said the same thing..........there was NOTHING similar between the two.  Afghanistan is H3ll  compared to Iraq.

Look, Pvt. Chen's death cut everyone right to the core......just like the others.  It DID make us at home question what the heck had our family members turned into.  But after hearing the real story, we still felt horrible at the death of Pvt. Chen but it was not what it has been made out to be.

MissSterious
MissSterious

Absolutely horrible reporting!  Here is a bit of back round on Palace.  Palace was in Panjwaii, the birthplace of both Mullah Omar and the Taliban.  There were no friendlies.  This platoon took Palace over from the Canadians that manned it with 160 soldiers and had TWO SUICIDES occur there.  They were blamed on the stress of being in such a deadly area of operation.  This platoon took it over and manned it with 40 soldiers TOTAL!  They were securing the same area with one quarter the manpower of the Canadians!!!! 

It amazes me that the author of this article ignores the fact that they WERE  in a remote area ALONE!  It amazes me that the author IGNORES the fact that they started taking casualties IMMEDIATELY.  It amazes me that the author IGNORES the fact that by the time Pvt. Chen arrived in late Aug, they were down to roughly 20 or so soldiers, therefore OPERATING AT 50% OF THEIR ORIGINAL MANPOWER!!!

Seeing as this author has no idea nor even tried to find out anything about Palace makes this article ridiculous........I bet he did not know that it was due to Sgt. Holcomb's family pressuring their Congressman that they even got food delivered to them..........they were eating the Canadians left over RME's and goats and chickens the interpreter brought to them from the market.

They did NOT have internet they did not have phone service they had the radios and that was their only communication between themselves and HQ.  The author also leaves out the FACT that Pvt. Chen was to be transferred out, HOWEVER due to the danger of the area, it took a convoy to travel from COP to COP...not a jeep like in MASH or a Humvee......A CONVOY with GUNNERS!!!  Again due to the tremendous beating the CO took during the height of fighting season, they could not just drop everything and put together a convoy at the drop of a dime..........THEY HAD MISSIONS TO DO!!

I am guessing if the author of this article had actually spent any time in Afghanistan it must have been at KAF where they have Starbucks and KFC, or maybe he did visit a FOB where they had an MWR but I can say with certainty he has NEVER visited a COP based on his description of the Co.

MissSterious
MissSterious

What a total bunch of BS this article and others like are!  The media barely makes a peep about the fact that there have been 156 suicides through June of this year of Active Duty Troops..........So according to this article it is because of toxic leadership.

It is sad that so few have even been touched by military life in a time of war.  I read over and over again......."When I was in"......Ha, the infantry is the smallest MOS of the entire million soldier Army....only 49,000 or so total.  Very FEW have experienced Infantry life and yet fewer have experienced combat life..........It is so easy to say what YOU did while on a 2 week field exercise or at the Garrison.

You want to talk blame?  Then look at yourselves in the mirror.  Your attitude towards life.......the Military has been neutered so that the attrition rate stays low.  It has been like that since the 90's........LOOK IT UP!  Standards lowered to the point of we are asking young people to go to war yet training them with the the "Everyone gets a trophy" mind set.  It is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to get weeded out in todays military.  Other than committing a major felony.......everyone graduates UNLESS they CHOOSE  to leave!  That is a FACT!  It is called "pencil pushing" and they move on with the hope that their deficiencies will be corrected by the next guy!

Now lets move onto the Recruiter.......Pvt. Chen was according to reports extremely intelligent and spoke a 2nd language.......Chinese!!!  How about we look to WHY a recruiter, would NOT steer Pvt. Chen towards an MOS in Intelligence???  Where was his responsibility in making sure an individual was suited for the job?  By previous accounts it is said that Danny Chen hated both physical and verbal confrontation......so he ends up in the INFANTRY???????  The MOST unforgiving of ALL the MOS's in the Military???

The ball was dropped in OSUT and just kicked down the road at every turn.  There is an expectation that once one graduates from OSUT and is sent to their unit, that basic skills exist!  How did Pvt. Chen arrive in Afghanistan not knowing how to operate his weapon?  Use his equipment, pack a ruck?  Perhaps you would see things different if your loved one was there!  As harsh as it sounds, the weak link is a DANGER to everyone!  If you are ignorant enough to believe that a platoon operating in the hottest zone in Afghanistan, who already had lost half of their men to IED's gave a flip about the race or nationality of a replacement then there is no hope for you!  THEY NEEDED HIM!!  They needed every body that was there to SURVIVE!  20 or so Soldiers surrounded by hundreds of Taliban are really gonna worry about somebody being Chinese???  Really?  Hyper sensitive, touch feely people don't join the infantry........Their job is not touchy feely.....it is to go on DEADLY missions and hope to come back ALIVE!  They don't fight the enemy from a FOB via a control panel from miles away......they go FACE TO FACE with them.

And as for Pvt. Chen HE had a responsibility to show up for his detail on time.  He had a responsibility to stay awake on guard duty.  He had a responsibility to have his equipment and make sure it was in working order.........He ALSO HAD A RESPONSIBILITY TO THE OTHERS AS WELL!

I guess to the civilian it is hard to understand that RESPECT is earned through the trust that the guy next to you will do his job!

MissSterious
MissSterious

 How come the other Chinese soldier assigned to the unit did not experience any of this? Where does Pvt. Chen's responsibility lie? He had a responsibility to be at the top of his game. That was his responsibility to his fellow soldiers. When the ^amp;*( hits the fan, it does not matter what race anyone is.....it is about getting through the mission ALIVE!!! Trust is built through confidence that the guy next to you can do his job, not by their race. Do you really believe it was the few white guys against the Black guys and the spanish guys? What, do you believe they all segregated themselves? A Platoon CANNOT survive like that. A platoon cares about two things.......complete the mission and stay alive!!! That is it......everything else is moot! How many times do you think "my nigga" was used? The military is NOT a place for hyper sensativity......sorry their job is to kiiill and destroy, not hold hands and have group therapy. Because it is a hard and unforgiving environment the corrective training reflects that. The psyche of one serving must reflect that! It is commendable that Pvt Chen wanted to serve his country. I have to wonder what kind of recruiter he had! A recruiter with a brain would have saw Pvt. Chen as perfect candidate for Intelligence.....given his academics and his ability to speak Chinese! Based on what I have read about him he would have been a GREAT Asset in that MOS and probably would have excelled and his opportunities would have been limitless!

MissSterious
MissSterious

 How come the other Chinese soldier assigned to the unit did not experience any of this? Where does Pvt. Chen's responsibility lie? He had a responsibility to be at the top of his game. That was his responsibility to his fellow soldiers. When the shit hits the fan, it does not matter what race anyone is.....it is about getting through the mission ALIVE!!! Trust is built through confidence that the guy next to you can do his job, not by their race. Do you really believe it was the few white guys against the Black guys and the spanish guys? What, do you believe they all segregated themselves? A Platoon CANNOT survive like that. A platoon cares about two things.......complete the mission and stay alive!!! That is it......everything else is moot! How many times do you think "my nigga" was used? The military is NOT a place for hyper sensativity......sorry their job is to kill and destroy, not hold hands and have group therapy. Because it is a hard and unforgiving environment the correct training reflects that. The psyche of one serving must reflect that! It is commendable that Pvt Chen wanted to serve his country. I have to wonder what kind of recruiter he had! A recruiter with a brain would have saw Pvt. Chen as perfect candidate for Intelligence.....given his academics and his ability to speak Chinese! Based on what I have read about him he would have been a GREAT Asset in that MOS and probably would have excelled and his opportunities would have been limitless!

Pedro Mateo
Pedro Mateo

He should kill first his tormentor and all the officers before he kill himself.

Chris Wynn
Chris Wynn

Sad and pathetic.  No excuse.  Remember this happened under Obama's watch!

Talendria
Talendria

Sergeant Holcomb was a classic bully.  Our society tolerates and even encourages bullies as long as they're perceived as winners.  We need to stop doing this.  Bullying is dishonorable.  It doesn't make you a better athlete, soldier, or human being; it just leaves a trail of victims in your wake.

Westfield State Veteran Coordi
Westfield State Veteran Coordi like.author.displayName 1 Like

Holcomb deserves to be booted from the service. As a career Infantryman, former Drill Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant, and Infantry Company First Sergeant with three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan I can tell you that SGT Holcomb's actions show someone who was too immature and ill trained to hold the position he did. You TRAIN your Soldiers, sometimes roughly, but you don't berate or humiliate. I was a Drill Sgt. and while some things I did could be seen as hazing, there was no malice involved. My actions were meant to build mental toughness and weed out those who were not cut out for the profession they had chosen.

SGT Holcomb's actions were and are inexcusable, he was the squad leader and should have been the most trusted person in PVT Chen's world, not his tormenter. That being said where was Chen's platoon Sergeant? Platoon Leader? First Sergeant? Company Commander? Those men should have seen what was going on at some point and put a stop to it. It sounds like no one was leading that unit in the least. Too bad PVT Chen had to pay for a weak chain-of-command.     

MissSterious
MissSterious

The problem was that he was NOT trained to be in Afghanistan!!!!!!!!

Mark Dell
Mark Dell

Leadership! I am not sure Sgt. Holcomb understood the concept. In basic training there is a certain amount of hazing that goes on by drill sergeant's for the practical purpose of seeing if a soldier will break under the pressure. It is necessary only to the extent that basic training weeds out those who might not follow orders in a combat situation. However, my prior military experience (Vietnam Era) has shown me two different types of NCO's. One leads using fear, the other extracts the desire to exceed from his soldiers by making them feel confident in themselves. 

However, this can be a mute subject when we factor in prejudice. To be honest, I have no idea whether there was any of this involved directly between Sgt Holcomb and Pvt Chen. But I do know that prejudice is alive and well within the world. None of us were born with it, it is entirely a learned behavior and so often it begins at home or even with those we choose to associate with; including those who wear  a uniform.

MissSterious
MissSterious

Well Mark I guess you have been out for a while........A DS can't say boo any more to a SIT.  There is NO WEEDING OUT!  Everyone passes unless they decide to leave on their own!

John Forsthoffer
John Forsthoffer

   Holcomb does not deserve his rank and does not deserve to serve in the United States Military. Whether the Private was prepared for combat or not, a true leader would know how to handle any situation, whether in combat or not. The authoritative leadership style was my choice while I served in the Marine Corps.  But I never, EVER acted as this piece of trash Holcomb did. Completing the mission does not and will never involve racism, mental abuse, belittling and outright maltreatment of any subordinate. This makes my blood boil.

MissSterious
MissSterious

Tell that to the soldiers that served with him and have all gone on the record that they would serve again with him in a minute..........yes even the lowly privates!!!!

John Forsthoffer
John Forsthoffer

I served during 2 conflicts and as a leader I have never had a suicide. I knew how to handle my Marines. You are so thankful and proud of this Holcomb character but how would you feel if you were the mother of the private that committed suicide? I think your story is BS.  

MissSterious
MissSterious

I am not ashamed to say that my son was THERE!!!  From the get go!  From before Chen arriving and my son was a PFC too!  Holcomb more than once saved lives out there, my son included.  He had the respect of all of them so don't you DARE tell me how others felt!  I also KNOW how the others felt about Chen!

How much do YOU know about suicide in the military smart guy?  2 conflicts? You didn't lose anyone......well good for you because 156 ACTIVE DUTY SOLDIERS HAVE TAKEN THEIR OWN LIVES FROM JAN-JUNE of this year!!!  DID YOU KNOW THAT?  Did you know that 14 soldiers from the 82nd have taken their lives recently????  No THOSE DEATHS DON'T MAKE THE NEWS DO THEY?

And IF my son was the one who committed suicide, I would want to know HOW MY SON DEPLOYED WITHOUT PROPER TRAINING!!!  I would want to know HOW my son ended up in a WAR ZONE unable to operate his weapon!!!  One of the tools to keep him alive!!!

surferpl
surferpl

 As it does mine. Holcomb's actions were inexcusable -- no question.  But an entire company didn't commit suicide, thankfully; only one soldier did and that was Pvt. Chen. There had to have been a reason for that. Now whether Holcomb should be kicked out of the service or reassigned.... I don't know.

Talendria
Talendria

Private Chen was the only one who committed suicide because he was the only one being bullied.  You can speculate that his suicide reflects some innate mental imbalance, but unless you've experienced mental and physical abuse at the hands of your fellow soldiers in a combat zone, you should probably keep that opinion to yourself.

MissSterious
MissSterious

Really?  Bullying....why because he had a nickname?  Was he the ONLY one?  You have NO IDEA what the other nicknames were now do you?  The others didn't commit suicide over nicknames. How about getting smoked?  Do you really believe that others there didn't get smoked?  I am here to tell you that there was others that took the exact same corrective training as Chen and even more as they were there longer who didn't commit suicide.....oh and one of them was white!!!  Can you believe it?  The other Chinese soldier in the Co. didn't require any corrective punishment......because he did his job!  He had a nickhame too and didn't k!ll himself.

surferpl
surferpl

Keeping an open mind, I will yield to Mr. Forsthoffer's point of view, but it is not your place to tell me to "keep my opinion to" myself. This is a public thread -- whether you like it or not.

John Forsthoffer
John Forsthoffer

   When any man or woman is put in a leadership position in the military, those kids lives are in their hands. They are role models, teachers and sometimes parent like figures. Most people will never understand unless they were in the military themselves. 

  If it was one that died it may have been all of them as they are a team, not individuals. This man should be discharged, no question. 

MissSterious
MissSterious

Yes, it is their responsibility to be role models and teachers, etc.  I thank God for Sgt. Holcomb and his bravery, when he put his LIFE on the line to go into the bullets to save my sons life.  I also thank God that  he was hard on my son and insisted and understood the dangers outside the COP and made him a better soldier and brought him and the others home ALIVE!  There are NO do overs in a Combat Zone!

Al in SoCal
Al in SoCal

Memories of the Army.  I'm Middle Eastern and was in the Army during the first Persian Gulf war, though I have to say honestly I only had a couple of incidents.  There are racial tensions for sure - but mostly between black and white soldiers from the South (both from the South).  I'm talking about my experience only.

I wasn't in an infantry platoon however, but was attached to several during my time in, and the "tougher" you get the tighter the camaraderie as well as the worse the teasing gets for those that don't quite fit in.  Thankfully my squad leader always kept us shielded from the infantry BS, so we rarely experienced any.

My thoughts go out to Pvt. Chen's family ... all he needed was a couple of good friends to get him through it.

surferpl
surferpl

The Army has been accepting bottom of the barrel enlistees for some time now to feed the war machine and this kid was just not up to the job. On top of that his emigre parents were giving him continual static -- in Chinese -- about serving in an American uniform. He must have been going through an emotional hell on all sides and simply couldn't take it any more. This bit about being insulted... Since when has the service NOT insulted its ranks (ie: "OK LADIES," or "you worthless maggots," or the like). C'mon, there has always been racism in the service but this is on the poor kid, rest his soul. He just couldn't take the pressure and rather than seek counseling... My heart goes out to his family. This is a horrible tragedy but if you want to REALLY look at the root of the problem, either stop these senseless wars or revive the draft (a better and more democratic solution).

Jared McLaughlin
Jared McLaughlin

 Never met a bottom of the barrel enlistee during time in the army. I served with some of the greatest men I've known to walk the earth, and I thank God to have been surrounded by them. All men have their foibles, but this one was a soldier.  To paraphrase Patton, I am less sad this man died than I am glad he ever lived.

John Forsthoffer
John Forsthoffer

   You have no idea what you are talking about. You can call a man many names, but those used towards that private was aimed at belittling him and making him feel worthless. This man, and I use that word loosely, Holcomb obviously should not be in a leadership position. The root of the problem? LEADERSHIP. These young kids look to these men for guidance and support, to be lead. That is what a leader does. When these kids do not have  that, where else do they have to look? And in a combative situation? and Revive the draft? Seriously? This private volunteered to be in the Army and had difficult times. Imagine what would happen to someone who was drafted? The big problem I see here is the Army needs to revamp their leadership courses and pick and choose their leaders more wisely. 

MissSterious
MissSterious

You have NOT been there and done that because you WERE NOT THERE!  You cannot IMAGINE what went on there because you were NOT THERE!

You tell me I am spreading lies???  No YOU are a Sap for believing a story that was put together BEFORE the investigation was over!

Google is your friend!  Google what happened to the lead investigator???  Kicked OUT OF THE ARMY for impersonating someone else during interviews which lead to tainted testimony!!!

Yeah, like I can make this sh**t up!

MissSterious
MissSterious

They need to be more flexible in allowing a recruit to switch their MOS when it is apparent they are not suited for the one they initially chose. They also need to quit pencil pushing recruits through and hoping down the road they will adapt!!!

John Forsthoffer
John Forsthoffer

So when did you serve? You seem to know so much. Tell us of your service during the war please. I think you are just another sea lawyer trying to ruffle some feathers. I have been there and done that, I can talk from experience. Holcomb obviously does not have the experience to handle these types of situations. He should have been demoted to serve along side of the privates he treated so poorly.

surferpl
surferpl

 Mr. Forsthoffer, one can only lead those who are capable of following orders properly.  Pvt. Chen was found to be substandard in the field and was sent back for re-training which he couldn't do properly. On top of that he had pressure from his parents about being in uniform in the first place. He was a mess-up. That is not the fault of the American Army. It is the fault of the system at play. As long as there is war, there needs to be a wide pool of men from which to draw -- like it or not, that's how it has worked in this country. The volunteer Army is a failure. There have been too many suicides because of multiple lengthy deployments. That comes from too few men. Pvt. Chen needed to speak  up or get counseling. His death is horrible. It is a tragedy. But it is not the Army's fault. It is the fault of the Defense Department, the Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush.  Holcomb may have been an asshole, but he was at the end of the line.

vstillwell
vstillwell

Really? So you have inside information on what was happening on the ground that we're not privy to? Blaming his mother is a new low, chief. You should just read the thing and keep your thoughts to yourself. 

MissSterious
MissSterious

Well l do KNOW what was happening on the ground!!!!  It was a death trap and it was not a place for a person unprepared.......You are a FOOL to even think that Chen was ignored and an outcast........he had MANY friends there but even they testified that he could NOT do his job!  They ALL tried to help him......even the other NCO's!!!  For whatever reason he could NOT do even the most simple task!!!  That is WHY he was being transferred!!!!

Oh and YOU tell me why the Fire Department had to be called at Fort Wainwright to break down the door when he missed formation?  Where was he??  Curled up in  the fetal position under the covers because ACCORDING TO HIM ............. his family had given him a rash of ***** because of his upcoming deployment!!!  

His Team Leader FINALLY  was able to get him to contact his family after arrival as he REFUSED several times before!  Saying he had NO FAMILY!!!!

MissSterious
MissSterious

Oh, and another thing John........Google is your friend!  Most thinking people look for opinions from multiple sources if they really care about a story!

John Forsthoffer
John Forsthoffer

So where did you get all this nonsense from? You are obviously a Holcomb supporter by coming into these conversations with B.S. information and acting like you know the whole story. Are you his wife, embarrassed of his action and come here in to defend him? A family member? Quit coming in here a spreading these lies about a poor dead Private. You are pathetic. 

surferpl
surferpl

 I never blamed his mother: I said his parents criticized his being in the American Army. And this is a public thread...chief.

John Forsthoffer
John Forsthoffer

His parents may have criticized his decision, but his decision was a noble one. This private served HIS country and he chose the United States as HIS country when he took his oath. 

vstillwell
vstillwell

Yeah, this a public thread, but just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it. You're talking about a dead kid who volunteered himself to go to the suck so other kids wouldn't have to. Show some decency. He's not here to defend himself or his mother.

Surfboat Dan.
Surfboat Dan.

 I am the product of Mestizo parents and Anglo public education.   Unilateral shaming was my way of life throughout my youth.  Now I'm almost 60 and I read Zbigniew Brzezinski .   According to him justice or the sense of it is greatly attractive to young people around the world.  Ours: the U.S.A., has now settled for the illusion of justice.  It's all John Wayne justice in the movies and social rape in reality.

surferpl
surferpl

 I too am a minority and have been at the end of taunts, insults, viciousness, slurs and defamation for more than 60 years and I totally empathize with you and understand your point of view.

Celeste Rothstein
Celeste Rothstein

So if I assume that Holcomb is telling the truth, and Pvt. Chen was unprepared for combat, is the military's position that the appropriate action is to beat, berate and bully the soldier? Is that the military's definition of "corrective training"?

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