On May 18, 2019, Trooper Donald C. Brackett died in the line of duty, having served our commonwealth as a Trooper for nearly two decades. He previously served our nation as a U.S. Marine. He is a hero who will live in our hearts forever.
Since that day, Trooper Brackett’s family has suffered immeasurably as our commonwealth continually denied them survivor benefits. In what can only be described as reprehensible, the state refused to acknowledge Trooper Brackett’s death as having occurred in the line of duty. The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association and our legal team began a long, protracted legal fight to provide Trooper Brackett’s family with the benefits they deserve, as well as Trooper Brackett’s inclusion on our Pennsylvania State Police Memorial Wall, which he so obviously earned.
I am happy to report that this week a workers’ compensation judge ruled in favor of the Brackett family, directing the commonwealth to pay all survivor benefits, retroactive to May 18, 2019. While the commonwealth has the right to appeal this ruling, it is our hope they will see the overwhelming strength of our case and finally provide peace to the Brackett family.
The time has come to end this family’s suffering so they can move on with their lives. The time also has come to recognize Trooper Brackett for making the ultimate sacrifice. Trooper Donald C. Brackett will forever be remembered by the PSTA as an extraordinary individual and a hero. He lived the oath to serve and protect those in the commonwealth, and he died in pursuit of that mission. We will never forget his sacrifice.