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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
Rachael Hill - Feb. 2015
Working Through the Hard Times

TAPS Blog | Today on the TAPS Blog, surviving spouse Rachael Hill shares ways she uses to get through the tough days. She writes, "Since losing my husband, I have found that it is often easier for things to get thrown off and harder to get myself back together again. Harder, but not impossible.".. More »

Shanette Booker
It’s a Title, Not a Life Sentence

TAPS Blog | Today on the TAPS Blog, surviving spouse Shanette Booker shares that her grief doesn't have to define her life. She writes, "It's up to me to keep Dre's legacy alive by sharing his story and living my life to the best of my abilities. Being the widow of SSG Andre Booker doesn't mean that I am senten.. More »

Amy Dozier
Learning to Love Again

TAPS Blog | Today on the TAPS Blog, surviving spouse Amy Dozier shares how she is writing a new love story for herself. She writes, "It was very difficult but I began tearing down the walls of my heart little by little. I allowed myself to feel real feelings of joy again. With the help of family, friends, and T.. More »

Michele Marcum
Coping with Guilt

TAPS Blog | Today on the TAPS Blog, surviving sibling Michele Marcum shares how she copes with guilt. She says, "I can choose joy. I can choose to hold tight to the little moments and let them build a new life." .. More »

Linda's picture
I'm All About That Bass

TAPS Blog | Today on the TAPS Blog, surviving spouse Linda Ambard shares how she tries to stay positive each day of the grief journey. She writes, "I know that soon the sun will rise again and I choose happiness because it is all about 'that bass.' My attitude says it all.".. More »

Holiday Invite
What Do You Say, Dear?

TAPS Magazine | The winter holiday season arrives each year just when we may feel like pulling the covers over our heads and ignoring it altogether. Invitations to parties and festive events arrive like clockwork. We are torn because we are not sure if we are ready to celebrate, and we long for the days before our .. More »

Candle, Holiday
Healing Rituals for Holiday Grief

TAPS Magazine | This article is found on the Bobbi Emel (www.thebounceblog.com) website: Healing Rituals for Holiday Grief... More »

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