Navy Rejects Sailor’s Diagnosed PTSD And Harassment Claim Placing Him In Harm's Way
Nation’s Leading Latino Civil Rights Organization Warns of Imminent Suicide Risk to Sailor if Navy Fails to Take Action before He is Deployed to Sea
Washington, DC - Roman Palomares, National Chairman, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), today announced the League is taking steps to protect a black sailor after being notified by his mother there is a high risk of suicide in the face of anticipated deployment to sea. The mother said her son expressed suicidal thoughts which were confirmed during a subsequent diagnosis by a physician outside the military.
“We must stand with our service members and veterans in securing protections authorized in service to our nation,” says Palomares. “The actions of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Command and its failure to acknowledge Seaman Michael Gregg’s risk of suicide aboard the ship are unacceptable. This is the latest example of leadership lapses by Commanders charged with the care of our sons and daughters entrusted to the U.S. military,” he added.
Seaman Michael Gregg’s mother, Ms. Farrah Gregg, made exhaustive attempts to work with Navy officials at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia to avoid what she says is a preventable and tragic loss of life. She reached out to LULAC for assistance after her own efforts failed to get attention from the Navy in Norfolk, Virginia and the chain of command. Seaman Gregg was disciplined for Unauthorized Absence during a period of psychological distress and his eventual diagnosis. The recommended treatment included assigning shore duty to Seaman Gregg and keeping him off the ship. Instead, he was subjected to harsh discipline and his command allegedly told Ms. Gregg that the Navy was going to “get him.” He has served honorably in the Navy for nearly three years earning the rank of Petty Officer Third Class. He was demoted to Seaman in the action by the Navy.
“While we look forward to learning all of the facts associated with the actions of the Naval Command on the USS Eisenhower, we are engaged out of an abundance of caution to secure this Sailor’s rights and protections,” said Palomares. LULAC’s Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee is working with Congressional staff and made efforts to contact the Secretary of the Navy’s offices to stop Seaman Gregg’s deployment pending a medical review board assessment. LULAC has been active in efforts with the Army on PFC Guillen, SPC Morales, and SPC Roman-Martinez, all who have been murdered in military care. “We must do everything we can to support our military institutions and military personnel while at the same time making sure that suicide prevention is at the top of the list of priorities in our programs,” Palomares concluded.
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/