TAPS Annual Honor Guard Gala Honors the Service of Fallen Military Members, Rallies Support for the Families They Left Behind

More Than 850 Gathered to Honor 2018 Award Recipients, Show Support for All Those Grieving the Loss of a Military Loved One


ARLINGTON, Va. –- Congressional representatives, senior Administration and Pentagon officials, surviving military families and supporters from the business community came together Tuesday night for the annual Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) Honor Guard Gala, held at the National Building Museum.

“TAPS is the family of all who are grieving a fallen hero, finding hope and healing together, supported by caring Americans who understand that they are America’s legacy of service and sacrifice,” said TAPS President and Founder Bonnie Carroll as she welcomed attendees to the Gala.

Funds raised from the Gala will be used to support families who have suffered the loss of a loved one who was serving in the military. Programs such as the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp; Education Support Services for Military Families; National Military Survivor Helpline; Military Mentor Program; Casework Assistance; and programs, seminars, retreats and Good Grief Camps held across the country for surviving spouses, parents, adult children and siblings are provided without cost to these families.

At the Gala, Carroll presented the inaugural TAPS Guardian Angel Award to actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation, for his dedication to ensuring the sacrifices of America’s defenders and their families are never forgotten.

“I just hope I can be a good steward of the freedom that has been provided to me and all my fellow Americans by so many guardian angels,” said Sinise after accepting the award.

In addition, TAPS awarded the 2018 Military Award to Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff. He was introduced by Army Capt. John Rhoten, who was honored as the TAPS 2018 Mentor of the Year at the TAPS Honor Guard Luncheon earlier in the day. He represents the more than 10,000 members of the Armed Forces and veterans who volunteer as mentors for military kids at TAPS Good Grief Camps.

The TAPS 2018 Congressional Award was presented to the Honorable William “Mac” Thornberry, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He was introduced by Corbin Cabrera, of Abilene, Texas, and surviving son of Army Lt. Col. David Cabrera.

Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan presented the TAPS 2018 Senator Ted Stevens Leadership Award to Ashlyn McCain, recognizing her outstanding leadership on behalf of other military survivors.

This year's Legacy Sponsors were the Centene Charitable Foundation/Health Net Federal Services. The Title Sponsor was USAA. The Program Sponsor was HSBC, and Presenting Sponsors included BAE Systems, DynCorp International, Oshkosh Defense, Prudential, Telos Corporation and United Technologies Corp.


The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 75,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups 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 the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).