Hazing Hearing

Floor Speech

By:  Judy Chu
Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Ms. CHU. A year ago, on April 3, on a Marine base in Afghanistan, Harry Lew was the victim of hazing. He was punched and kicked by his peers as they poured the contents of a sandbag over his face and mouth. This physical torture and hazing lasted a full 3 hours and 20 minutes. Twenty-two minutes after his abusers stopped, Harry killed himself. He was my nephew.

The perpetrators were let off with virtually no punishment. That is why, for months after his death, I have been calling for congressional hearings to look into the prevalence of hazing in the military. The military must implement a zero tolerance policy and must change the culture of hazing that is not only accepted but encouraged.

Tomorrow, almost on the anniversary of his needless and avoidable death, Congress will act. I urge all of you to watch online the Armed Services Committee hearing on hazing in the military.

We can and we must hold the military accountable so no one will ever again have to go through what Harry endured.