LULAC CELEBRATES THE ROLLOUT OF THE BRANDON ACT BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Urges All Military Service Branches to Implement the Law
May 5, 2023
For more information, contact David Cruz at (818) 689-9991
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is thrilled to announce and celebrate the official rollout of the Brandon Act by the U.S. Department of Defense. This landmark legislation, signed into law by President Biden in January 2022 with bipartisan support from Congress, marks a significant step forward in prioritizing the mental health and well-being of our brave servicemen and women.
"This is a great day for the Casertas, and LULAC extends our heartfelt congratulations to them for achieving an important first phase of their mission," expressed Domingo Garcia, President of LULAC. "We thank Gilbert R. Cisneros Jr., undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. Our nation's defense readiness hinges on our military's physical and mental well-being. Implementing the Brandon Act will go a long way in supporting that."
Brandon Caserta, Petty Officer 3rd Class assigned to the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28 in Norfolk, Virginia, tragically lost his life to suicide in June 2018. Despite enduring chronic bullying, harassment, and assaults ignored by toxic commands, Brandon's legacy lives on through the Brandon Act. His parents, Patrick, and Teri Caserta committed themselves to fulfilling Brandon's final message and embarked on a four-year campaign, tirelessly lobbying members of Congress to garner support for this critical legislation.
From Patrick and Teri Caserta, came these words today after the signing ceremony. “We are sitting at the Pentagon, September 11 memorial. It's been a long journey and we are happy that the Department of Defense signed The Brandon Act and that they are going to start the implementation. When Brandon died, he tasked us with helping service members get the help that they need, and we accomplished this. We know that Brandon is smiling down on us and his legacy will forever be saving military lives.”
"LULAC now urges all military branches to collaborate with LULAC and the Brandon Caserta Foundation in fully implementing the Brandon Act, starting with the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) through active service," says Roman Palomares, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee Chair. "We believe that by working together, we can ensure that every service member receives the mental health support they deserve," he adds.
In addition to our commitment to the Brandon Act, LULAC remains steadfast in championing the needs of our veterans. We will continue to honor their loyal service in defense of our nation and strive to provide them with the resources and support necessary to thrive beyond their military service.