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Marine Commits Suicide Following Hazing
NBC Bay Area ^ | Tuesday, Aug 23, 2011 | Scott McGrew

Posted on 08/23/2011 5:05:54 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Santa Clara native was apparently prone to sleeping on guard duty; fellow Marines took to disciplining him.

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Harry Lew took his own life in his foxhole in Afghanistan after he was kicked and punched by fellow Marines, military officials tell NBC Bay Area news.

An investigation into the 21-year-old's April death says Lew "leaned over his M249 squad automatic weapon as it pointed to the sky, placed the muzzle in his mouth and pulled the trigger."

Lew wrote on his arm: "may hate me now, but in the long run this was the right choice I'm sorry my mom deserves the truth."

The suicide came moments after fellow Marines attacked Lew for repeatedly falling asleep on guard duty. An investigation shows Lew, from Santa Clara, was caught asleep at least four separate times in areas where "enemy attack was considered imminent." Military records show Lew, who was on his first tour in Afghanistan, was first counseled then disciplined by a sergeant for sleeping while on post.

At some point, Lew was forced to walk his rounds while carrying a single sandbag, symbolic of the weight of his responsibility to his fellow marines.

On April 3, Lew could not be raised by radio while standing post. A check of his foxhole found him asleep once again.

The unnamed sergeant then announced over the radio that "peers should correct peers," according to military documents. That led to what appears to be a sad series of events.

Fellow lance corporals [whose names have been redacted in the report] ordered Lew to dig a new foxhole as a punishment, then informed Lew he could go to sleep once the task was finished. Those corporals, however, did not inform the sergeant they had given Lew permission to sleep.

At 1:00 a.m., that sergeant, whose name has also been redacted from the report, "angrily confronted [Lew] about why he had again fallen asleep." Other Marines then demanded Lew to perform various physical tasks as punishment and would "stomp down" on Lew's back and legs if he failed to do an exercise properly.

"Towards the end of the physical training", the report says a "sandbag broke open at which point lance corporal [redacted] picked it up and poured the contents on Lew's chest and face as he lay with his back to the ground."

Convinced Lew was responding to his punishment with sarcasm and disrespect, fellow lance corporals then "kicked dirt on Lew, kicked him in the back of the helmet, punched him in the back of his helmet with a force that cut [his attacker's] knuckle."

At some point, a fellow Marine stepped in to stop the attack, saying he didn't "want it on his conscience if Lew killed himself" -- which is exactly what Lew did.

A sergeant is blamed in the report for giving responsibility for Lew's discipline to fellow marines.

"Further, he failed to intervene while those peers undertook inappropriate corrective actions." That sergeant faces court martial when the unit returns from Afghanistan, as does an unnamed lance corporal.

The military says unequivocally that Lew took his own life, though it the report does indicated more than one round was shot from Lew's SAW.

"This command mourns the death of Lance Corporal Lew" reads the final report. "His family and friends have my deepest sympathies" says his commanding officer.

Lew is a 2008 graduate of Santa Clara High School and was assigned to the 2nd battalion, 3rd marine regiment, 3rd Marine division.

His obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle says Lew wrote "Brand new Marine, feels good" on his Myspace page shortly after he joined the military.


TOPICS: Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; harrylew; lew; suicide
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1 posted on 08/23/2011 5:05:58 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

What do you want to bet that as this story evolves the word ‘gay’ is inserted somewhere...


2 posted on 08/23/2011 5:08:12 PM PDT by Outlaw Woman (Palin/Perry 2012)
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To: nickcarraway

Maybe Lew’s death was made to look like suicide.


3 posted on 08/23/2011 5:13:14 PM PDT by getarope (I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I am all out of bubble gum!)
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To: nickcarraway
The sergeant and the most culpable lance corporal need to be court martialed now--not when the unit returns from deployment.

The sergeant is in charge of training his troops/ Marines.

What about the platoon commander and company commander? Where were they?

4 posted on 08/23/2011 5:14:09 PM PDT by Lysandru
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To: Outlaw Woman

Very possible. Though I thought the kid had some kind of sleep disorder. I know two people who have narcolepsy and would just fall asleep anytime, anywhere. A friend was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, which explains why she kept falling asleep in all kinds of situations where you would think anybody would stay awake.


5 posted on 08/23/2011 5:14:46 PM PDT by ottbmare (off-the-track Thoroughbred mare)
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To: nickcarraway

Maybe Lew’s death was made to look like suicide.


6 posted on 08/23/2011 5:14:53 PM PDT by getarope (I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I am all out of bubble gum!)
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To: nickcarraway
On April 3??? This is August 22! For what purpose is being reported now?

I think this child would have done the same in or out of the Corp.
Certainly not the Marines fault.

7 posted on 08/23/2011 5:15:26 PM PDT by steveo (PETO-VT-IN-MARI-SVB-CRVCE-AVSTRALI-SEPELIAR)
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To: Outlaw Woman

That is the first thing I thought of.


8 posted on 08/23/2011 5:16:18 PM PDT by MestaMachine (If the truth hurts, prepare yourself for a LOT of pain.)
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To: getarope

Who ordered the “Code Red”?


9 posted on 08/23/2011 5:17:02 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: All

This guy was a volunteer and he obviously wasn’t up to the task. Sad. But better him than an entire platoon while he slept on duty.

For the people who demand a draft...this is the type of person you get when you have a draft...well, more like this.


10 posted on 08/23/2011 5:17:55 PM PDT by rbmillerjr (Perry Palin Perry Pallin Perry Paliln Perry Palin....Rubio?)
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To: Lysandru

Officers abdicating their responsibility.

If this guy was the disaster indicated by the story, he should have been transferred out of the combat zone, not “disciplined” by his peers.


11 posted on 08/23/2011 5:21:41 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: dfwgator

You cannot handle the truth.

In all seriousness, you have to believe that this stuff has been going on as long as men have stood guard.

As I am very happy to admit, I have never been in combat. But it seems pretty fundamental that you do not fall asleep on guard duty. I can understand why others might not appreciate that particular weakness in the line.


12 posted on 08/23/2011 5:22:32 PM PDT by Vermont Lt (George Lopez is the black hole of funny. Nothing funny can escape his suck.)
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To: nickcarraway

13 posted on 08/23/2011 5:23:24 PM PDT by GrandJediMasterYoda (Mark Halperin - Learned the hard way what happens when you speak the truth on PMSNBC.)
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To: nickcarraway

14 posted on 08/23/2011 5:23:24 PM PDT by TSgt (When in the Course of human events...)
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To: nickcarraway

Cyclic rate on a SAW is 650 to 800 rounds per minute. No doubt that squeezing the trigger would fire more than one round...even in a suicide.


15 posted on 08/23/2011 5:26:10 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: nickcarraway

Shades of “Full Metal Jacket.”


16 posted on 08/23/2011 5:26:24 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: steveo

“Certainly not the Marines fault. “

Not the marines fault that he fell asleep? Thereby risking the lives of his fellow marines? BS

The discipline was handled poorly but falling asleep in these conditions is a very serious matter.


17 posted on 08/23/2011 5:26:38 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Sherman Logan
Officers abdicating their responsibility. If this guy was the disaster indicated by the story, he should have been transferred out of the combat zone, not “disciplined” by his peers.

Exactly.

18 posted on 08/23/2011 5:26:40 PM PDT by Talisker (History will show the Illuminati won the ultimate Darwin Award.)
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To: nickcarraway

“And the next sum’bitch I catch coppin Z’s in the bush, I’m personally gonna take an interest in seein’ him suffer. I —— you not.”


19 posted on 08/23/2011 5:27:31 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: nickcarraway

Just profound sadness here from the father of a Marine LC - soon getting promoted.


20 posted on 08/23/2011 5:28:00 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: Talisker

When I first arrived in South Korea there had been an incident where a South Korean fell asleep on guard duty in the ammo dump.

His Lt didn’t even wake him up, just put a bullet in his head.


21 posted on 08/23/2011 5:28:48 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: rbmillerjr
Yours is an unsubstantiated conjecture about draftees.

Basic and AIT pretty much discover folks with a sleep problem. Ordinarily they aren't subjected to this sort of treatment ~ they are simply given a discharge.

The military has no reason to keep folks around who have some reason why they can't do the job or who have physical abnormalities like Peronie's Disease that could very well mislead field medics regarding an injured soldier's condition.

When the military discover someone with Borderline Personality Disorder they release him or her from the service. It's useless to punish them, or hope to correct them.

Guard duty is exceptionally difficult for some individuals ~ for others it's just a waking trance away from another day of good times eh.

22 posted on 08/23/2011 5:31:33 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Vermont Lt

War is hell. He let is fellow Marines down. I would have not been very happen with him either...


23 posted on 08/23/2011 5:32:16 PM PDT by TSgt (When in the Course of human events...)
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To: Sherman Logan
Officers abdicating their responsibility.

This was NCO business. If the NCO recommended an Article 15 to his PL or CO and they declined to pursue it for an invalid reason, then that would be abdication of responsibility. As it stands, it was POS kid who couldn't do what he was supposed to do.

24 posted on 08/23/2011 5:36:32 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: Sherman Logan

thats my thought

And what ever happened to giving the guy a live grenade to hold?


25 posted on 08/23/2011 5:37:15 PM PDT by Charlespg
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To: Lysandru
The sergeant and the most culpable lance corporal need to be court martialed now--not when the unit returns from deployment.

1. If the USMC is like the Army, then that won't happen.

2. We don't really know what happened anyway.

26 posted on 08/23/2011 5:38:11 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: Lysandru

Falling asleep on guard duty used to carry a severe penalty with it (it starts with an “e” and ends with an “n”) - and for very good reason.


27 posted on 08/23/2011 5:38:35 PM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: driftdiver
So, you're in a combat situation and everybody but you is allowed to sleep ~ NOT!

Don't be silly. This guy is at a particular position and he's on alert and other folks are wandering about checking on him and others ~ so it's not like a whole platoon, or company, or battalion, or brigade, or division, or Army GROUP is at risk if he nods off.

It's mostly his butt that's at risk, and his buddy's butt too.

The potential for damage is limited through application of normal doctrines.

What I don't understand in this one is that someone thought using the techniques one might use to break a slave would improve self-discipline. Today it's recognized this sort of thing induces some pretty serious depression. I really doubt the guys doing this were taught in the military how this can be done.

28 posted on 08/23/2011 5:38:45 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: TSgt

Sad story no matter how you cut. But a sadder one would be “Platoon surprised by attack, ten dead.”


29 posted on 08/23/2011 5:39:24 PM PDT by arrogantsob (Why do They hate her so much?)
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To: Future Snake Eater
Wow! Can you interpret that for us civilians, lol?!
30 posted on 08/23/2011 5:41:18 PM PDT by miss marmelstein (Run, Sarah, Run! Please!)
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To: nickcarraway

Hasn’t “Sleeping on Guard Duty” historically been a Capital offense?


31 posted on 08/23/2011 5:42:08 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: achilles2000
I think we gave that e.....n business up when the common people (who provide those pike men or riflemen) got the vote eh.

The privileges of nobles are very circumscribed these days.

32 posted on 08/23/2011 5:42:08 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: don-o

Just profound sadness here from the father of a Marine LC - soon getting promoted.

I hear you, dad.


33 posted on 08/23/2011 5:42:16 PM PDT by lookout88 (.combat officer's dad)
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To: muawiyah

“So, you’re in a combat situation and everybody but you is allowed to sleep ~ NOT!”

Not while he’s on post. This isn’t the post office. People die when people fall asleep on guard duty.

“Don’t be silly.”

Just shut up mail man, you know nothing of having your life depend on those around you. He risked lives because he was too lazy to stay awake. Its sad that he killed himself but to minimize it is ignorant.


34 posted on 08/23/2011 5:43:00 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver
Again why was this news now?

Anyone should know the discipline required to serve. If he couldn't handle it there are ways out. He was the one that chose to kill himself. No one else.

35 posted on 08/23/2011 5:43:55 PM PDT by steveo (PETO-VT-IN-MARI-SVB-CRVCE-AVSTRALI-SEPELIAR)
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To: arrogantsob
Again, no platoon should be sleeping while leaving only one guy on alert ~ and a known sleeper to boot.

That would be too stupid to be believed in any modern military unit.

36 posted on 08/23/2011 5:44:08 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: ottbmare

Sleep apnea will certainly make it tougher to stay awake, but from experience these guys are often exhausted and it’s tough to keep alert in these circumstances, hence the widespread use of chew, cigs, coffee, etc. Black coffee always worked for me.


37 posted on 08/23/2011 5:44:35 PM PDT by MSF BU (YR'S Please Support our troops: JOIN THEM!)
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To: ottbmare

Sleep apnea will certainly make it tougher to stay awake, but from experience these guys are often exhausted and it’s tough to keep alert in these circumstances, hence the widespread use of chew, cigs, coffee, etc. Black coffee always worked for me.


38 posted on 08/23/2011 5:44:46 PM PDT by MSF BU (YR'S Please Support our troops: JOIN THEM!)
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To: nickcarraway
An investigation shows Lew, from Santa Clara, was caught asleep at least four separate times in areas where "enemy attack was considered imminent."

I am sorry if my comments sound brutal, but falling asleep on guard duty in a combat zone is unforgivable. Others lives depend on your watchfulness. Falling asleep on guard duty is breaking faith with your fellow marines/soldiers/sailors/airmen. He deserved some very severe punishment. It didn't, however, have to be physical. Nevertheless, I understand his follow marines' rage.

It happened four freaking times??!! Why wasn't he removed and given judicial punishment and sent to work as a cook after the second offense? If he had a sleep disorder, why was he given combat duty at all? How do even get through basic training without learning how to stay awake? He really was endangering his fellow marines. Sorry if that sounds brutal, but the marines are in life and death situations over there every day and night, and you HAVE GOT to pull your weight.

39 posted on 08/23/2011 5:45:33 PM PDT by ishmac (Lady Thatcher:"There are no permanent defeats in politics because there are no permanent victories.")
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To: steveo

No expert here, but where was the discipline. Discipline would not permit this in an orderly unit. Either the sleeping or the reaction to it.


40 posted on 08/23/2011 5:46:53 PM PDT by LachlanMinnesota (Which are you? A producer, a looter, or a moocher of wealth?)
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To: Vermont Lt

A Marine in my family told of pulling guard duty with Iraqis. One fell asleep twice in one night, and the Marine slugged him. The Iraqi pulled a knife, and THAT earned him a huge butt-kicking. After that, the Iraqi didn’t fall asleep...and neither did the Marine, since he figured the Iraqi would cheerfully kill him if he did.

As an officer in the USAF, I have been known to turn a blind eye to fellow enlisted men dishing out punishment. I can also say in every case I knew about, the guy punished grew up and became a solid airman.

Of course, if I did the same thing now, I’d probably end up in prison. Guess it is good I’m retired.


41 posted on 08/23/2011 5:47:43 PM PDT by Mr Rogers ("they found themselves made strangers in their own country")
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To: steveo
This is usually not a disciplinary issue ~ it's a neurological problem, or a result of disease or injury ~ or dope.

Inducing deep depression in someone in that state is exceedingly dangerous ~ those guys are lucky all he did was kill just himself.

42 posted on 08/23/2011 5:48:11 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Wrong. Sleeping on guard duty in a combat situation has been a captial offense in the US military. Even today Article 113 of the UCMJ—Misbehavior of sentinel or lookout -allows for execution.

By sleeping on guard duty in Afganistan the “victim” could have gotten everyone in his unit killed.


43 posted on 08/23/2011 5:48:11 PM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: lookout88

RE: your tagline - my son is applying for the PLC


44 posted on 08/23/2011 5:48:23 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: achilles2000
It's quite obvious that folks aren't subject to summary execution in the US military these days. Last time a guy was executed for desertion (traditionally considered an even more serious crime since it was usually undertaken while on guard duty) was under Dwight David Eisenhower.

Advances have been made in medical understanding and my understanding is that our military, if not yours, keeps up with those discoveries.

45 posted on 08/23/2011 5:51:07 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: miss marmelstein

Wow! Can you interpret that for us civilians, lol?!
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Well, for starters, a lot of ‘minor’ offenses are handled on the deck plate level.
Not saying sleeping on watch/duty is minor but an NCO doesn’t want to be known as being report happy.
When a thief is caught the first time he is usually administered to by his bunk mates (same as ‘do funnies)and many types ‘fall up a ladder’ while heading to the shower, where he had a lot of help.
Usually by the time a guy got to Captains Mast or Courts-Martial he had been attended to by his peers.

Of course, I am talking many years before PC ran rampant.


46 posted on 08/23/2011 5:51:19 PM PDT by xrmusn ((6/98) We have got to get serious about 'readjusting' the present House and Senate.)
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To: driftdiver
The discipline was handled poorly but falling asleep in these conditions is a very serious matter.

I'm no military man but to this layman it seems the discipline was handled atrociously. If this kid was endangering fellow soldiers by being a lazy idiot or unable to fulfill his duties due to sleep apnea, he should have been sent home and discharged from the service. I have trouble seeing how getting assaulted by fellow Marines and repeatedly humiliated by his sergeant were expected to fix the problem in any way. Condolences to the kid's family and friends - what a senseless waste of a young life.
47 posted on 08/23/2011 5:51:19 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: muawiyah

“What I don’t understand in this one is that someone thought using the techniques one might use to break a slave would improve self-discipline. Today it’s recognized this sort of thing induces some pretty serious depression. I really doubt the guys doing this were taught in the military how this can be done.”

It isn’t hard. Your buddies impress on you the idea that you cannot afford to let them down. In every case I knew of, it resulted in a better person who grew up and became a part of the team.


48 posted on 08/23/2011 5:51:46 PM PDT by Mr Rogers ("they found themselves made strangers in their own country")
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To: Outlaw Woman

It just was


49 posted on 08/23/2011 5:54:03 PM PDT by al baby (Is that old windbag still on the air ?)
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To: muawiyah

Simple logic would tell you that the entire platoon was not sleeping or they would not have repeatedly caught him sleeping on duty.


50 posted on 08/23/2011 5:56:38 PM PDT by Valpal1 ("No clever arrangement of bad eggs ever made a good omelet." ~ C.S. Lewis)
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