- Colonel Ronald JohnsonCommander, Fort Wainwright Garrison
Unfinished Business: Justice for Private Danny Chen
Danny Chen was a 19-year-old Private from a Fort Wainwright unit who died after being subjected to 6 weeks of relentless hazing and mistreatment at the hands of his superiors in Afghanistan. Eight soldiers were found guilty in connection with his death. Four of the superiors have been discharged; the other four must be administratively discharged. Staff Sergeant Blaine Dugas, the second in command, was found guilty of using alcohol in a combat zone and dereliction of duty. Staff Sgt. Andrew J. VanBockel, Chen's squad leader and the "ring leader" of the mistreatment, was found guilty of hazing, dereliction of duty, and maltreatment of a subordinate. Sgt. Jeffrey Hurst was convicted of dereliction of duty. And Specialist Thomas Porter Curtis IV was convicted of hazing, two specifications of maltreatment, and two specifications of assault.
- Commander, Fort Wainwright Garrison
Colonel Ronald Johnson
We, the undersigned, believe these remaining four must each receive an “other than honorable discharge” from the Army. All eight have engaged in unlawful conduct in blatant disregard for the Army values of respect and integrity. By doing so, all eight have lost their privilege to represent the United States. America must symbolize leadership, integration, and freedom, not torture, intolerance, and abuse of authority.
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