Military Hazing Must Stop
Rep. Judy Chu slams 'outrageous token' sentences
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2012 2:03 PM CDT
This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Army shows Pvt. Danny Chen,19.   (AP Photo/U.S. Army, File)
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(Newser) – The shame of falling asleep on guard duty might be considered punishment enough. But US soldiers like Danny Chen were literally tortured for such mistakes, and ended the pain by taking their own lives. And Rep. Judy Chu is sick of it. "Is it necessary for soldiers to be abused and tortured by their fellow troops in order for the military to be strong?" she asks in the New York Times. "In Congressional hearings, the military tells me no."

Chu can relate to parents whose children died from military hazing, because her nephew, Lance Cpl. Harry Lew, shot himself after three hours of Marine hazing in Afghanistan. Like Chen's chief torturer, Lew's received only one month in jail. Now Chu has introduced an anti-hazing plan that the House approved and passed on to the Senate. "The military must make it clear that hazing is absolutely unacceptable and that perpetrators will be severely punished," writes Chu. "We must protect those who protect us." Click for the full column.