The Law Offices of Haytham Faraj, PLLC
When Private Danny Chen took his life last October in Afghanistan while standing post, the media and a spin machine fabricated a story of hazing and maltreatment by soldiers in Chen’s platoon that allegdly led to his suicide. For months the story of hazing prevailed as the only reason for the suicide. The Army began to prosecute members of Chen’s platoon and their platoon commander. As the facts began to be uncovered, a far different and more sinister story emerged. Chen’s death remains a tragedy but the the aftermath of that death and the Army’s conduct in covering up the facts to comply with political pressure stands as a greater and more sinister tragedy. Army commanders and prosecutors covered up and continue to coverup the facts surrounding the relationship between Danny Chen and his parents.
After Danny Chen was infomed that he will be deploying to Afghanistan in the late summer of 2011, his parents told him that they would disown him and they in fact did. Danny Chen expressed his deep pain and hurt feelings to friends about the action of his parents. And while he also complained about the hard training he underwent, the remedial training was a result of regular failures by PVT Chen to conform to Army standards and to do what was expected of him. As a brand new soldier he faced the same challenges all new soldiers face. He engaged in corrective training to correct his deficiencies. The training that the Army alleges led to him taking his life is the same training alll new soldiers undergo, especially those who are infantry men.
By spinning the suicide as an act of surrender to the strain created by the remedial training, the Army has decided to completely ignore facts that more directly reveal why Chen committed suicide. Instead, the Army has embarked on a campaign to destory the lives of a number of soldiers who bear no more responsibility for Chen’s suicide then a random reader of this post to placate the family and their political patrons.
The Army’s campaign to transform the tragic sucide from an action so clearly the result of the terrible emotional pain a child suffers at being told by his parents “we disown you,” amplified by the loneliness and the fear soldiers experience in a combat zone where they must daily face the possibility of death, is a shameful, unjust and politically expedient act of cowardice. Soldiers do not kill themselves because they face physically demanding tasks and challenges. But we all know the tragic stories of soldiers taking their lives because they receive news that the person whom they believed is waiting for them at hime has moved on. In this case the people Danny Chen anchored himself to, the people who he loved and wanted to return home to, told him we disown you.
Haytham Faraj, Esq.
Haytham Faraj is a Chicago criminal defense attorney and trial lawyer. He represents one of the soldiers wrongly accused by the Army. This post is in direct response to the many defamatory and libelous press releases that have been generated by the Army and by certain New York politicians and media campaigners who jumped on the story to get a few moments of attention.