Harry Lew, a 21-year-old Marine who committed suicide in April, is the nephew of Southern California Congresswoman Judy Chu.
Lew had committed suicide in his foxhole at a firebase in Afghanistan soon after he had endured four hours of hazing by two fellow marine lance corporals.
The incident occurred in Patrol Base Gowragi, in Nawa district. At about 11:15 p.m. on April 2 Lew failed to respond to calls on his radio, according to a report in Marine Corps Times. A sergeant found him sleeping in a fighting hole and told other lance corporals that “peers should correct peers” without providing specific instruction.
At about 11:30 p.m. two other lance corporals pulled Lew from the fighting hole by his helmet and berated him for falling asleep. Over the next four hours they continued to berate and ordered him to do pushups, crunches and other exercises while he was wearing body armor. One of the Marines stomped on his leg repeatedly for failing to do the exercises properly.
At about 3:05 a.m. one of the Marines assaulted Lew again. He kicked dirt on Lew, then kicked him and punched him before being stopped by another Marine, according to an investigation report.
Within an hour Lew killed himself while alone in the fighting hole.
One of the lance corporals will receive a non-judicial punishment from his battalion for assault. The other is expected to face court-martial on a charge of cruelty and maltreatment.
On April 14 Congresswoman Judy Chu eulogized her nephew during a session of Congress, portraying him as a generally well-liked personality and an accomplished trick dancer who, as a marine, had volunteered for many difficult missions and shown courage in firefights against insurgents. Lew was based out of Kaneohe on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.