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Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Acknowledges the Army's Leadership for Taking Bold Action

September 1, 2023
For more information, contact David Cruz at (818) 689-9991

Washington, DC - LULAC commends the U.S. Army for its visionary and life-saving efforts in addressing the mental health of its servicemembers worldwide. With the implementation of the historic Brandon Act program, the Army has taken a vital step forward in ensuring access to mental health care and creating an even more robust support system for its service members.

"LULAC salutes Army Secretary Christine E. Wormuth and her staff for crafting the implementation program for the Brandon Act," stated Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. "Its introduction in the Army only enhances the already very robust actions the branch has taken during the past two years to strengthen the well-being of its servicemembers. LULAC is committed to working with the Army, and this pledge is unwavering."

Named in honor of Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Caserta, who tragically died by suicide in 2018, the Brandon Act reflects the Army's commitment to tackling mental health challenges head-on. This groundbreaking policy empowers soldiers to seek mental health resources in a crisis without providing a reason or justification. This transformative step helps to foster a culture of openness and support, ensuring that soldiers can seek assistance if needed.

"The Army deserves the gratitude of every American for its vigilance in addressing the complex mental health challenges that every segment of our society is facing," said Roman Palomares, Chair of the LULAC Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee. "Secretary Wormuth and her top staff deserve to be commended for this historic step taken only after thoughtful and reasoned work for the best outcomes. "

This policy applies to soldiers in the regular Army, the Army National Guard, and the Army Reserve who are on active duty for more than 30 days. The Army is working on guidance for the Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers with active-duty durations of less than 30 days. Also, soldiers can directly contact mental health care providers without involving their leadership.

Additional resources include 988 Veterans Crisis Line, Military OneSource nonmedical counseling, and the 24/7 Psychological Health Resource Center. The Army says all aspects of patient rights and health information confidentiality will be protected per applicable laws and Department of Defense privacy regulations.

“I am confident that working together on new programs and initiatives, LULAC and the Army will deliver on the promise made to millions of Latinos,” says Rafaela Schwan, LULAC Chief Operating Officer. “We are united in ensuring their safety and well-being. As a military veteran myself, this pledge is deeply personal and irrevocable. Thank you, Army, for leading the way forward for America’s soldiers,” she added.




The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation's largest and oldest Hispanic 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 the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/