TIME MAGAZINE COVER STORY DRAWS ATTENTION TO DEATHS BY SUICIDE IN THE MILITARYTwo Widows Who Lost Their Husbands on the Same Day Earlier This Year Share Their Stories
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 12, 2012
WASHINGTON – TIME magazine’s cover story issued today asks why active-duty service members are dying by suicide and features the stories of two widows who both lost their husbands on the same day, March 21, 2012. Both widows are getting peer-based emotional support through the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).
Leslie McCaddon, of Rockport, Mass., is the surviving widow of Army Captain Michael McCaddon. McCaddon was a bomb disposal expert and a medical doctor who died by suicide while attached to Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii.
Rebecca Morrison, of Copperas Cove, Texas, is the surviving widow of Army Captain Ian Morrison. The Apache helicopter pilot had recently returned from a deployment to Iraq, was attached to Fort Hood and was a 2007 West Point graduate.
Also quoted in the cover story is Kim Ruocco, director of suicide postvention programs at TAPS who lost her husband, Marine Major John Ruocco, to suicide in 2005. “I was with them within hours of the deaths,” Ruocco says of the two new widows. “I experienced it through their eyes.” Their stories, she says, are true.
A companion piece to TIME’s cover story focuses on how military families can get help. “What we learn from our families [who lost service family members to suicide] and what they saw in their loved ones, is behavior [in which they] pulled back and felt they were not able to be a useful part of unit that relied on them,” says Bonnie Carroll, founder and chairman of TAPS in the story. “These men and women need to know they are still a part of a unit at home and overseas.”
Carroll co-chaired the Congressionally-mandate Department of Defense Task Force on the Prevention of Suicide in the Military, which issued a candid and comprehensive report in 2010. TAPS intakes on average eight to ten people per week grieving a death by suicide of a service member or veteran. Approximately 3,000 people impacted by suicide losses among service members and veterans are involved with TAPS.
The death of a service member or veteran by suicide is devastating to the families left behind. The surge in troop suicides this year has recently drawn headlines, with the Associated Press reporting that in the first 155 days of 2012, there were 154 suicides. After careful reflection, often surviving family members grieving a death by suicide can share information that supports prevention and education efforts.
The cover story is available today on newsstands and online to TIME subscribers. Several companion pieces and a video are available at www.time.com.
The media can get recommendations for reporting about suicide at www.reportingonsuicide.org
About TAPSThe Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivor (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 35,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, seminars for adults, good grief camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call 800.959.TAPS (8277).
Media contact for TAPS: Ami Neiberger-Miller, 202.588.8277, firstname.lastname@example.org
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