Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Caring for the Families of the Fallen
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New to TAPS?

The death of a loved one who served in the military can turn your normal life upside down. Sometimes even your friends can’t understand what you are going through after the death of your loved one, because they haven’t been where you are. You may feel isolated, lonely or just plain sad. Grief is a normal response to loving someone and losing them, but it can hurt so much. And it may not just be you who is hurting. Other people in your life that you love may also be in pain, and you are not quite sure what to do or how to help them. Wherever you are at - you are not alone.

TAPS welcomes anyone who is grieving the death of someone who died while serving in the military - regardless of where they died or how they died. If you are hurting, we are here for you. We are so sorry for the loss of your loved one.

We know that military loss can feel very different, from other types of loss in your life. There is a public meaning often assigned to the death. You may have questions about the death, feelings you aren't sure how to process.

We began as a group of bereaved military families who lost their loved ones in a military plane crash in Alaska in 1992. Those families found comfort, connection and hope in talking with each other as they rebuilt their lives. After undertaking a two year study of support services available for bereaved military families, Bonnie Carroll founded TAPS in 1994 and modeled it on best practices found in peer-based support programs. We provide a safe and confidential program that supports people who are grieving.

You can connect with TAPS in one way or many ways:

  • Call us - if you would like to talk with someone on our survivor care team who can let you know about services and programs you might find helpful, or just need someone to talk to, please call us any time at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277). Our resource and information helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • Sign up for a survivor resource kit and join our mailing list - we have a kit filled with resources and materials to help in coping with the death of your loved one. Sign up here. We can also add you to our mailing list so you'll start to receive the TAPS magazine each quarter.
  • Read articles about grief and loss in the TAPS magazine. Or visit our survivor care area online.
  • Get support through our online communities or real-time chats.
  • Request a peer mentor - this program connects you one-on-one with a caring person who has experienced a similar loss and has been trained in how to companion someone else who is grieving.
  • Connect with other survivors at a TAPS care group in your local community or request a customized list of grief support resources in your community.
  • Find out about bereavement counseling at a Vet Center or through another provider - our staff can help you set up the appointment if you like.
  • Meet other survivors at a TAPS event- see our event calendar.
  • Get questions answered - contact our casualty casework staff if you need help accessing benefits, want assistance requesting information, or don't know where to turn for answers in a difficult situation related to your loved one's death.

We are so sorry to get to know you, because we know you came here because you lost someone who died. But we are so glad you found us, and we are here for you. 

Our Stories
Topic: General Grief
Miles for Kyle

TAPS Blog | Surviving spouse, Maggie Osborn, shares how she's made every mile count in honor of her husband, Kyle, at major races across the country with Team TAPS, including the Army Ten-Miler and Marine Corps Marathon. .. More »

Learning to Live Again

TAPS Blog | Keeping busy after loss is something many of us do to avoid painful reminders. Surviving spouse, Linda Ambard, talks about learning to thrive again when the busyness slows down.    .. More »

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

TAPS Blog | Fulfilling shared dreams you and your fallen hero had is a motivating force to moving forward. But when most of those goals are achieved, what else remains to look forward to?  Surviving spouse, Linda Ambard shares her own determination to find where she fits in life four years after her husband's d.. More »

Close In Our Memories, Forever In Our Hearts

TAPS Blog | Surviving spouse, Leila Murray, shares letter she penned to her husband after his death and encourages other survivors to hold their loved ones' memories close. .. More »

A Gold Star Mother's Day Reflection

TAPS Blog | The last Sunday in September is Gold Star Mother's Day.  One surviving mom shares a look back at her own journey after losing her Marine son.  .. More »

Zipped Into My Fraud Suit

TAPS Blog | After a traumatic loss, many close themselves off to the world.  A surviving mother discusses coming out of her shell after the suicide death of her military son and finding hope, help, and healing with TAPS.   .. More »

Among the Zebras

TAPS Blog | Surviving mom, Judi Swenson, shares her experiences of attending the TAPS National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar and the comfort that comes from being among your zebra peers.   .. More »

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