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Supporters keep Pvt. Danny Chen's memory alive

It's been a year-and-a-half since a series of courts-martial on Fort Bragg put hazing in the spotlight and longer still since Pvt. Danny Chen took his own life while deployed to Afghanistan.

But the soldier's memory, and the court saga that followed Chen's suicide, are being kept alive by supporters.

Private Danny Chen Way, a roadway honoring Chen, will be unveiled Saturday in New York City's Chinatown, according to the Organization of Chinese-Americans New York chapter.

The group also plans to announce a trip to see an opera based on Chen's life that will premiere at the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., next month.

Chen, 19, was a Chinese-American soldier from New York who committed suicide in Afghanistan in October 2011.

Following the death, military officials said Chen was driven to suicide by members of his platoon while at a small combat outpost in southern Afghanistan.

They charged eight soldiers from Chen's Fort Wainwright, Alaska-based unit with crimes that put a focus on hazing and racism in the military.

The courts-martial, held at Fort Bragg, attracted international media attention but none of the soldiers were convicted of the most serious charge of negligent homicide, leading some activists to be critical of the trials.

All eight soldiers have since been discharged from the Army, according to the OCA-New York release.

Chen and all eight of the soldiers charged in the case were part of 3rd Platoon, C Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

The cases were tried on Fort Bragg because the unit fell under the command of the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan.

brooksd@fayobserver.com

 

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