LULAC Starts Historic Journey To Congress To Save Our Servicemembers
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says Campaign for Passage of The Brandon Act Will Start in Arizona
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is marking the start of a month-long campaign to help protect Latino servicemembers who are being targeted by others within their ranks. The goal is to build national support for The Brandon Act, to help men and women in uniform experiencing a mental health crisis. Often, this is because of attacks by others in their units and the victims’ fear that speaking out will lead to retaliation.
“This is an historic step towards changing our nation’s military culture after the death of a promising young soldier named Brandon,” says Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. “On June 25, 2018 Brandon reached a point where the attacks became unbearable and officials say he took his own life. However, his is not an isolated case. Now, LULAC is taking the fight to Washington to confront this very serious threat Latinos are facing in our military,” adds Garcia.
A Save Our Servicemembers Vigil is scheduled for Tuesday, May 25, 2021, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Rio Vista Community Park, 8866 West Thunderbird Road, Peoria, Arizona 85381. More information is available at www.thebrandonact.org/ or m.facebook.com/thebrandonact/
“The toxic abusive leadership and abusive power culture in our military needs to end,” says Patrick Caserta, Brandon’s father. “Our servicemembers are dying at an alarming rate and continues to rise each year. It's time for reform in our armed forces,” adds Patrick. Brandon’s mother, Teri agrees. “This #SOS Campaign (Save Our Servicemembers) is a very good start to get the reform that is needed. Unfortunately, we lost our son, PO3 Brandon Caserta, to this horrific culture,” she stated.
LULAC wants to highlight the importance of safety in the military ranks through a comprehensive Save Our Servicemembers (SOS) Campaign on legislation introduced this year all for the sake of protection and prevention of America’s troops. Several important initiatives are underway including:
- Veterans Deportation and Prevention Act (Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA)
- Brandon Act (Rep. Seth Moulton, D-MA)
- Military Justice Improvement Act (Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY)
- I Am Vanessa Guillen Act (Rep. Jackie Speier, D-CA)
The Brandon Act will remove the roadblocks servicemembers face when navigating through the military system while seeking help. “Our women and men in uniform sacrifice so much as it is,” says retired Army Master Sergeant Crystal C Romero who serves as LULAC National Subcommittee Chair on Military and Legislative Affairs. “They should be able to report harassment of any kind to outside sources and be afforded the care they need without fear of retaliation,” adds Romero.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/