Army psychologist Maj. L. Eduardo Caraveo, PhD, dedicated his life to helping people for whom mental health care is often out of reach, but that life that was cut tragically short on Nov. 5, 2009, when he was among those shot by an Army psychiatrist at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. To honor Caraveo, Div. 55 (American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy) has created an award in his honor. The Major Caraveo National Service Award recognizes a medical or prescribing psychologist who strives to help underserved populations as Caraveo did throughout his career.

Caraveo began his psychology career at the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 1991. As a chief psychologist, Caraveo oversaw the mental health care of thousands of prisoners in Arizona, California and Pennsylvania. In 2007, the prison bureau awarded Caraveo with the Norman A. Carlson Award for a program he designed to track the needs of inmates with mental illness.

To further serve his country, Caraveo joined the Army Reserves in 2000 and enrolled in a two-year clinical psychopharmacology program. He arrived at Fort Hood the day before the shooting, and was set to deploy to Afghanistan in December to oversee a program offering short breaks for soldiers overwhelmed by stress and fatigue.

Caraveo felt that his psychopharmacological training was a boon to his clients, writing in an open letter, “I am able to contribute to the continuity of services for these troopers.”

The first winner of the Major Caraveo National Service Award, Capt. Kevin McGuinness, PhD, received the honor for his longtime work with the Public Health Service, which involves working alongside medical doctors to perform short, intensive mental health interventions in English and Spanish for people in Chaparral, N.M, a small town on the Mexico border.

—J. Clark