Update: LULAC Learns The Brandon Act Safeguards Score A Win In U.S. House
Nation’s Largest and Oldest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says the Protections for Servicemembers Need a Final Vote in the U.S. Senate
Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today issued the following statement upon learning that the principal protections embodied in The Brandon Act successfully passed in the U.S. of Representatives Tuesday. The provisions are part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Patrick and Teri Caserta, parents of Brandon Caserta, namesake of the historic legislation, received the news early Wednesday from Representative Seth Moulton, the lead sponsor of the proposed bill. Brandon died by suicide in June 2018 at Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28 at the Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia following chronic command bullying and neglect.
Patrick and Teri Caserta - Founders, the Brandon Caserta Foundation
“We are ecstatic and joyful beyond words that Brandon’s single wish, his message to save our servicemembers, is coming closer to fruition. It’s like we can begin to see and feel the rays of morning sunshine after a three-year-long and dark fight. The pain of losing our only child will never go away, and the emptiness created by his loss is immeasurable. Yet, our lives have found renewed purpose, and the consolation comes now from helping other families experiencing the same nightmare. However, please know that we are not home-free yet. Every American must call their senator and urge them to pass the NDAA. Also, tell them to make sure The Brandon Act is included and so named so that there is no question but that the safeguards are in there. Our brave servicemen and women have the fundamental human right to mental health care if they are in crisis and need help. Enough with the delays and excuses; the time to act is now!"
Domingo Garcia - LULAC National President
“This goes to show you that our community is making an impact. Yesterday, it looked like The Brandon Act was being cut out of the NDAA, and LULAC spoke out strongly, loud, and clear; we would not have it! Today, early this morning, we found out that somehow the measure made it into the approved package. Yes, there are some compromises, and that's politics. Still, on the whole, this is a major victory for our military service members, the peace of mind of their families, and the defense readiness of America. A healthy, secure, and ready force of men and women is in everyone's best interest in our country. LULAC continues to be vigilant and will work closely with the Brandon Caserta Foundation to build upon what has been started. Also, we want our elected officials to know that our organization will press forward with all components of the Save our Servicemembers campaign until victory is fully achieved.”
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/