I am going to break my own rule here and make direct comments on the trial proceedings instead of just general comments about Private Danny Chen. Some of the things out there being said are so utterly reprehensible and dishonest that I just can’t let them go without being addressed.
I cannot stress enough how utterly mind-boggling it is to me that not one media outlet has bothered to do any sort of research into this case. Not one has dug up any sort of documentation regarding the trial. Not one has bothered to research Chen’s family situation and find out what a mess it actually was. Not one has bothered to find out how utterly incompetent Danny Chen was as a Soldier. Each one has taken every racial cliché spoonfed to them and ran with it. It’s as if no one in the media has learned any lessons from the Zimmerman affair.
First, I need to address this shameless story:
The heartbroken mother of a New York Army private believed to have killed himself because of hazing from fellow soldiers took the witness stand Tuesday to profess “he was the best son in the world.”
Su Zhen Chen, 49, tearfully testified in the court martial trial of Sgt. Adam Holcomb, who is accused of driving her son, Pvt. Danny Chen, to suicide by physically and mentally abusing him.
“I don’t even know if my son killed himself or not, or if somebody else killed him,” the mother testified.
She denied claims by Holcomb’s military defense attorney that her 19-year-old son took his life because she disowned him for joining the Army.
“I never said I disowned him,” the mother said through a Chinese interpreter. “He was the best son in the world for me.”
She admitted she tried to discourage him when he first told her he wanted to join the Army, but once he did enlist she supported him wholeheartedly, even attending his graduation from basic training and regularly sending him care packages.
“We were having a very good relationship,” said the woman, who lives on the Lower East Side.
She said he called her once a week and “would ask me about my health.”
Her statement that they (she and her husband) did not disown their son for joining the Army is completely contradictory to all the evidence I found suggesting otherwise. As I wrote yesterday, it was common knowledge among the other Soldiers (especially at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, and Afghanistan) that Chen was having a lot of issues with his family and it was weighing heavily upon him. Private Chen was quite obviously depressed about the whole ordeal and it was severely affecting his performance as a Soldier.
For the sake of accuracy however I need to clarify one point that I didn’t make yesterday. The majority of the references I found about his family disowning him and not talking to him apparently came from his father, not his mother. Private Chen greatly looked up to his father. He was his hero. Unfortunately when it came to Chen’s desire to be in the military his father would not budge. It was his father who demanded he quit the military at his basic training graduation, and who threatened to disown him from the family if he deployed to Afghanistan. All Private Chen wanted was someone in his family, anyone, to come forward and say they were proud of him for what he was doing. Unfortunately no one came. And it tore Private Chen up inside.
All of the evidence I found during my last few months of investigating is completely contradictory to the statements that Chen’s mother made today in court. This can only mean one of two things. Either Private Chen faked the entire ordeal, pretended to be depressed, pretended to have poor relations with his family, told the other soldiers around him he was having troubles when he didnt, faked phone conversations with his parents, wrote bogus journal entries, and moped around as a depressed Soldier for months on end in Alaska and Afghanistan as a big act, or Danny Chen’s mother is simply not telling the truth.
I have yet to find any evidence that suggests Private Chen’s family situation was anything other than what Private Chen himself described. Danny Chen’s family disowned him for deploying to Afghanistan.
I think I need to point out right now for the sake of my reading audience (and my own conscience) that I would never go out of my way to slander the grieving mother of a fallen soldier. I’m sure there are those reading this who think I’m an outright bastard for saying the above statements. Allow me a moment to clarify. What I have repeatedly stated about Private Chen’s family situation is not my loose interpretation of the facts, nor is it simply what I think may or may not have happened, nor is it an outright fabrication. These are the facts that I have uncovered, regurgitated verbatim. I am not a hit-man for the accused, nor do I know any of the parties involved from my own time in the military. I am simply a writer and former Soldier in search of the truth. That is what is on display here.