Stories for 2013


img-description
TAPS Magazine Winter 2013

Volume 19, Issue 4

12/21/2013 - TAPS Quarterly Magazine
img-description
The Poems of Sascha Wagner

The Poems of Sascha Wagner is a volume of poetry sold exclusively by The Compassionate Friends (TCF).

12/21/2013 - Betsy Beard
img-description
Coping with the Holidays

Here are some honest observations from TAPS survivors about coping with the holidays.

12/21/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Glasgow Gathering 2013

Joining hands and hearts across the globe to honor and remember the fallen was the essence of the first ever TAPS/Bereaved Families Support Group (BFSG) gathering.

12/21/2013 - Kellie Hazlett
img-description
Is Winter Paradise in Disguise?

There ought to be a law! There ought to be a law against snow and ice and winter.

12/21/2013 - Darcie Sims
img-description
Grief 101: Back to the Basics

The holiday season—with its inevitable reminders of the empty spaces in our families—is a good time to go back to the basics of what we know about grief.

12/21/2013 - Betty Ann Rutledge
img-description
Resource Center: TAPS Casework Assistance

Our Casework Advocates are available to speak to a number of topics to include questions about burial benefits, financial benefits, health care, and much more.

12/21/2013 - Glenn Gray
img-description
Rock On

The truth is, there really is a magical quality about the holiday season. When you’re not grieving, that is.

12/21/2013 - Michele Hiester Marcum
img-description
Run and Remember Team: Finding the FUN in Fundraising

Since October of 2000 when the first Run and Remember Team of two runners raised nearly $5,000, fundraising has been a part of the team’s efforts on behalf of TAPS.

12/21/2013 - Betsy Beard
img-description
The Mourner's Bill of Rights

As a bereaved person, you have certain rights that others must not take away from you. In fact, it is the very upholding of these rights that makes healing possible.

12/21/2013 - Alan Wolfelt
img-description
What Shall We Tell Them?

As I reflect on the eight months, six days, and fifteen hours since my son Brian’s death, it is confusing to figure out where I stand in this grief trip that I hate.

12/21/2013 - Deborah Robinson
img-description
Why the Holidays Hurt

People who are grieving fear holidays. Holidays can be times when they have to face more than their wounded emotions can bear.

12/21/2013 - Deborah Robinson
img-description
Letters from TAPS: From the Volunteer Coordinator

If you have special skills you’d like to put to good use, talk to us about ways you can help. We’d love to have you!

12/21/2013 - Jerome Tennille
img-description
Online Financial Counseling

Eligible beneficiaries in the SGLI Program can now take advantage of two new online financial services that can help with financial planning and will creation.

12/21/2013 - Fran Hackett
img-description
I Know He's Dead, But...

Just because someone had died, that doesn't mean I can’t keep his memory alive, or that I can’t keep honoring him the way I choose to.

12/17/2013 - Shanette Booker
img-description
Laughter is the Best Medicine

I can't imagine what this world would be like without laughter in it! You will never hear someone say they felt worse after a good laugh.

12/16/2013 - Rachael Hill
img-description
TAPS Presence at Wreaths Across America Event at Arlington National Cemetery

On this day, over 200,000 wreaths will be placed on graves of fallen heroes across the country.

12/11/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Just Give Me a Reason--Just a Little Bit's Enough

I stood facing down the monster of the holidays this year not knowing which way to turn.

12/9/2013 - Linda Ambard
img-description
TAPS Good Grief Camp Mentor Shares About Giving to Help the Families of our Fallen Military

Volunteers and families of the fallen teach each other how to honor their loved ones, cope with their loss, and celebrate the lives of their loved ones.

12/5/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Our Marine Corps Birthday Tradition

Tommy died of his invisible wounds on May 10, 2010 but he is always with us, especially every Marine Corps Birthday.

12/2/2013 - Bob Bagosy
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: Survivors Offer Support to New Survivors

Survivors talked this week about ways to support those who are new to the path of grief.

11/30/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
I Jigged When I Wanted To Jag

So, I put on my best red puffy swollen tear soaked face and walked into the room. I joined my children in dance.

11/25/2013 - Sarah Greene
img-description
A Father's Reflection from the UK

I have learnt throughout this journey that no one except another grieving military family can understand how I feel.

11/18/2013 - Sandy Elliot
img-description
Watch the Gold Star Children film Trailer

Gold Star Children is a documentary feature film that takes an intimate look at American children who've lost a parent to war.

11/14/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Reflection of the National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar

From the moment the seminar started, I felt nothing but a family atmosphere. So much love and compassion was shared among us survivors.

11/13/2013 - Peggy Scallorn
img-description
Let Us Not Forget

Veteran's Day was created to honor the brave men and women, who have served their country, past and present-a National holiday, pretty straightforward.

11/11/2013 - Tiffany Eckert
img-description
Kim Ruocco Talks with The Mark Steiner Show

Kim Ruocco, TAPS manager of suicide postvention and education programs, talks about suicide in the Armed Forces and how we can all help.

11/10/2013 - Marc Steiner Radio Show
img-description
Veterans Day Reflection

For myself and family, Veteran's Day is the day we lost our husband, father, son, brother and friend.

11/10/2013 - Janna Schaefer
img-description
Life is a Gift

Every day I wear a black bracelet on my wrist with my husband's name on it. I never take it off.

11/4/2013 - Rachael Hill
img-description
Ted Leionsis Interview: MSE Foundation Launches Wizards Courage Caps program Sponsored by Telos

Ted Leonsis discussed the inaugural Washington Wizards Courage Program, which launched November 8 when the team hosted the Brooklyn Nets.

10/31/2013 - WTOP
img-description
Reflections of Yesterday

Tommy started his last day on earth by kissing his kids and wife goodbye, telling them he loved them.

10/28/2013 - Bob Bagosy
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: Priority Changes That Celebrate the Life

I hope that you find comfort in the other ways survivors have found to celebrate the lives of their loved ones as you read the suggestions.

10/26/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
Celebrate Life

A celebration of life is just as important as a commemoration of death.

10/21/2013 - Sherry Viray
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: What It's Like to Attend a TAPS Seminar or Retreat

Survivors share reflections on what to expect at TAPS seminars and retreats.

10/19/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
Taking Back the Calendar

This year will mark Topher's 8th birthday and the 8th anniversary of Art's death.

10/9/2013 - Veronica Mora
img-description
Forgiveness

I am releasing those things in my heart, choosing to give my heart to joy and happiness.

10/7/2013 - Elizabeth Rozier
img-description
Happy Memories

In honor of summer, the best time of childhood, here's a few memories of Jonathan.

10/7/2013 - Elizabeth Rozier
img-description
Moving Forward Versus Moving On

I am stronger than I ever thought. My heart beats true and full, but I will never be the same girl Phil loved and knew well.

9/30/2013 - Linda Ambard
img-description
Father's Club

I know if we had it any other way we would wish we didn't know each other as no one wants to belong to this Father's Club.

9/23/2013 - Bob Bagosy
img-description
What NOT to Say to a Military Widow

There are certain things you should and should not say to a military widow. Here are some plain and simple guidelines from a surviving spouse.

9/21/2013 - Jenna Grassbaugh
img-description
How TAPS Brought Hope and Healing to Military Widow Kim Ruocco

Military widow Kim Ruocco shares how she felt after her military husband committed suicide and how civilian suicide support groups didn't help.

9/21/2013 - Kim Ruocco
img-description
Gaining Strength on the Journey

Survivor father, Andy Weiss tells how he discovered the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and what it has meant to his family.

9/21/2013 - Andy Weiss
img-description
TAPS Magazine Fall 2013

Volume 19, Issue 3

9/21/2013 - TAPS Quarterly Magazine
img-description
Nutrition and Stress

There are certain things you should and should not say to a military widow. Here are some plain and simple guidelines from a surviving spouse.

9/21/2013 - Ruth Crocker
img-description
Spotlight on Service: Mardee McDaniel

“Volunteering for TAPS is my way of saying thank you to the families and honoring the sacrifice their loved ones made serving our country,”

9/21/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Life After the Death of My Son: What I'm Learning

Life After the Death of My Son is refreshingly honest and presents an unvarnished account of Dennis’s grief journey, while offering hope, validation, and connection.

9/21/2013 - Randy Beard
img-description
Bringing Alex Home

I am a man. I am a brother. I am a combat veteran. And I am a sibling survivor.

9/21/2013 - Donleigh Gaunky
img-description
Love and Grief

Love is a sacred partnership of communion with another human being. You take each other in, and even when you are apart, you are together.

9/21/2013 - Alan Wolfelt
img-description
Reaching Out to Others

Each time we reach out across our own pain to find another hand searching in the darkness, we begin to lighten our own darkness.

9/21/2013 - Darcie Sims
img-description
Run and Remember Team: Diary of a Runner

When we crossed the finish line, as Marines and thousands of spectators cheered, we couldn’t have felt better.

9/21/2013 - Bethany Crudele
img-description
Struggling To Reclaim My Faith

He was very ill, and our prayers were sincere as we asked God to please help him. Soon we would experience something that would challenge our faith.

9/21/2013 - Dennis Apple
img-description
TAPS Issues Tips for the Public Seeking to Express Sympathy or Support for the Families of Those Who Died in the Navy Yard

We are saddened by the loss of life and injuries in a shooting incident at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington D.C. yesterday.

9/17/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Facing the Twelfth Anniversary of 9/11: TAPS Shares Tips for Families of the Fallen

TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, offers the following tips to help the surviving families of our fallen.

9/10/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Angry with God

It is no surprise to say that there a gamut of emotions that go along with grief.

9/9/2013 - Rachael Hill
img-description
Words

I communicate. It's what I do. Ironically, one of the highest hurdles I've had to cross is that of communication after.

9/2/2013 - Michele Hiester Marcum
img-description
Memorial Day

I remember the sacrifice, both my brother's and mine. I remember your sacrifice too. Yes, yours. I remember the very person for whom you grieve.

9/2/2013 - Michele Hiester Marcum
img-description
I'm Not Angry

I feel like I’m somehow betraying my brother’s memory by not being rip-roaring, chest-beating, sky-screaming bitter about his death.

9/2/2013 - Michele Hiester Marcum
img-description
Year 2 is Round 2

August 19, 2011 technically was the day death did do us part, but I don’t think that physical death counts…the love between us still lives after August 19, 2011!

8/25/2013 - Shanette Booker
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: Remembering the Light

Remembering the light and not the darkness takes a long time to come into our lives after the death of a loved one.

8/24/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
The Search for Answers

Tommy's death shook me so much that to this day I sometimes have a hard time functioning in my day to day life.

8/19/2013 - Bob Bagosy
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: Displaying Memorabilia

Survivors share what they have done with special mementoes of their loved one.

8/17/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
Letting Go...

"The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes but it also brings music to my ears."

8/12/2013 - Bunnie Jacquay
img-description
3 Years

Three years? If it has really been three years, then why is it when I close my eyes I can still feel his arms around me and hear his voice?

8/5/2013 - Rachael Hill
img-description
The 10 Year Anniversary

This week is Jon's 35th birthday and the 10th anniversary of the day he died. Yes, all in the same week.

7/29/2013 - Elizabeth Rozier
img-description
What about the Children

I went a whole year like that…not intentionally, but it happened. I avoided their loss. I couldn't believe it.

7/22/2013 - Shanette Booker
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: Helpful Strategies While Grieving

This week several survivors sent in their ideas on strategies that help them while grieving.

7/20/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
Getting Through the Tough Times

I have learned that on these difficult days I need to stop pulling away from my family and friends…for they are the ones that ultimately get me through.

7/15/2013 - Rachael Hill
img-description
The Hawk

The hawk first showed up on Thanksgiving Day 2010 at our house in Georgia, which was 6 months after Tommy’s death.

7/8/2013 - Bob Bagosy
img-description
Our Fingerprints Don't Fade from the Lives We've Touched

My son, SGT Cody Legg, continues to be my beacon. It never ceases to amaze me, the number of lives that were touched by my son.

7/1/2013 - Bunnie Jacquay
img-description
TAPS Volunteer Recognition

TAPS is proud to announce that we are now a part of The President's Volunteer Service Award program.

6/27/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Live, Laugh, Love

To scramble them in any way would be awkward and somehow less meaningful.

6/24/2013 - Michele Hiester Marcum
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: Dealing With Emotions That Arise During Holidays, Birthdays, or Death Dates

Finding strategies that help deal with emotions that come around special holidays, birth or death dates of our loved ones can be difficult.

6/22/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
Team TAPS: Battle Buddies

Coming from all the branches of service, these special runners count it a privilege and an honor to remember their fallen.

6/21/2013 - TAPS
img-description
TAPS Magazine Summer 2013

Volume 19, Issue 2

6/21/2013 - TAPS Quarterly Magazine
img-description
The Story of Us

The bomb that ended my husband's life had come very close to shattering and completely destroying mine.

6/21/2013 - Jenna Grassbaugh
img-description
Reunion and Remembrance

By the time I had been kissed by the eighth guy in line in front of me, my face carried the scent of a potpourri of aftershave lotions.

6/21/2013 - Ruth Crocker
img-description
Myths about Children and Grief

Children are often shuttled off or ignored by adults who may be grieving themselves and do not have the energy, resources, or understanding necessary to help them

6/21/2013 - Darcie Sims
img-description
Mustering the Courage to Mourn

In opening to the presence of the pain of your loss, in being willing to gently embrace the pain, you demonstrate the courage to honor the pain.

6/21/2013 - Alan Wolfelt
img-description
Looking for Hope in all the Right Places

I have always thought of myself as a strong person. In reality my strength had never really been tested until I experienced the losses of the last 13 years.

6/21/2013 - Janet Crane
img-description
Grief 101: Advice to New TAPS Survivors

Asked recently what advice they would give to a newly bereaved person, TAPS survivors responded with powerful and diverse answers.

6/21/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Processing Anger and Blame

"Is it normal to be angry at someone that you hold responsible for your loved one's death?"

6/21/2013 - Mark Lamers
img-description
Seven Choices: Finding daylight after loss shatters your world

I surprised myself by buying and actually reading a book with the word "choices" in the title. And not just one or two choices. Seven of them.

6/21/2013 - Betsy Beard
img-description
Spotlight on Service: Belle

Honor’s First for Freedom is my full name, but most everyone calls me Belle. I’m a Golden Retriever, born on January 27, 2005, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

6/21/2013 - Mark Lamers
img-description
Letters from TAPS: From the Run and Remember Team

Thirteen years later, the TAPS Run and Remember Team runs or walks in events of all distances all across the country.

6/21/2013 - Marie Campbell
img-description
TAPS Public Service Announcement

This 30-second public service announcement (PSA) informs viewers about the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)

6/21/2013 - TAPS Media
img-description
Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden Surprise our TAPS Children at Camp Pendleton Camp Out

Children who attended the TAPS/USO Good Grief Camp Out in Southern California were greeted to a surprise visit by the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden.

6/19/2013 - TAPS
img-description
A Father and His Marine

Tommy served his Country well in Afghanistan according to the Marines who honored him at his memorial service at Camp Lejeune.

6/17/2013 - Bob Bagosy
img-description
Life Marches On

My youngest graduated from the Air Force Academy recently. He was commissioned by his oldest brother and his youngest sister.

6/10/2013 - Linda Ambard
img-description
Comfort Zones

It was time I picked myself up, say a last and final goodbye to my comfort zones, and live the next days of my life smiling happily, and free.

6/2/2013 - Shanette Booker
img-description
On Memorial Day, The Hardest Lesson of All

The TAPS Good Grief Camp helps children and teens coping with the death of a parent or sibling who died while serving in the Armed Forces.

5/27/2013 - Ami Neiberger-Miller
img-description
Memorial Day vs. Veterans Day

Survivor and veteran, Rachael Hill shares her journey to making Memorial Day about remembering those veterans who have given their lives.

5/22/2013 - Rachael Hill
img-description
The Many Faces of Grief, A Military Widow's Journey to Hope

Bonnie Carroll discusses the founding of TAPS to help those who have lost a loved one serving in the Armed Forces and her own journey as a widow.

5/20/2013 - Good Mourning Podcast
img-description
Good Mourning Podcast: The Many Faces of Grief

Darcie SimsTAPS' own Darcie Sims has a new weekly podcast entitled Good Mourning: The Many Faces of Grief.

5/17/2013 - Darcie Sims
img-description
TAPS Family Featured in Front Page New York Times Story on Suicide in the Military

Don Lipstein, of West Chester, Pa., is featured today in a front-page New York Times story by Andrew Lehren and Jim Dao discussing suicide in the military.

5/16/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Expectations

This is not the life I chose, but I am choosing to make the best of it. I am content with where I am right now.

5/13/2013 - Rachael Hill
img-description
My Little Buddies

I probably always will with each new life transition, but I will treasure the gift of friendship I now have with Ben & Josh.

5/6/2013 - Elizabeth Rozier
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: Special Places Shared with Loved Ones

Survivors wrote this week about special places they shared with their loved ones.

5/4/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
Introducing Bunnie Jacquay

Welcome to my journey: a world of choice and change that constantly collides with the desire to just curl up in a ball and hide while I cry.

4/29/2013 - Bunnie Jacquay
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: Self Care Part Two

Helping yourself when you are grieving may not seem like a priority. Survivors share strategies that have helped them take care of themselves.

4/27/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
Boston Strong

I may not feel much like rejoicing, and I may not feel like I am in control of my life today, but I do know this: with faltering steps, I will stumble on.

4/22/2013 - Linda Ambard
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: Self Care While Grieving

Grieving the loss of a loved one takes a toll on our emotions, body, and mind. The most important thing we can do is to take care of ourselves as best we can.

4/20/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
TAPS Recognizes author and CNN anchor Jake Tapper at Book Signing Event

TAPS brought together 60 special guests with CNN anchor and author Jake Tapper at a signing of Tapper’s book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor.

4/8/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Coming Home

Through TAPS, I have met so many thoughtful, caring, “been there” people who have become like family. I look forward to this annual tradition of “coming home”.

3/31/2013 - Michele Hiester Marcum
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: The Power of Dreams

This week several survivors wrote to tell about the dreams that they have had.

3/30/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: Advice for Another Survivor

“Knowing what you know now, what would you offer to another person who has lost a loved one?”

3/23/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
TAPS Magazine Spring 2013

Volume 19, Issue 1

3/21/2013 - TAPS Quarterly Magazine
img-description
National Bereavement Study: A Call to Action

One of the recurring themes of grief is the feeling of isolation, the sensation that we are alone in the world and that no one understands what we are going through.

3/21/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Self Care

Taking care of ourselves means different things to different people. It often includes a good counselor, exercise, and rest.

3/21/2013 - Leslie McCaddon
img-description
You’re Not Going Crazy…

The pain of loss is in direct correlation with the love we feel. The more we love, the more keenly we feel the absence of that which we love.

3/21/2013 - Stephanie Frogge
img-description
Proactive Grieving

If we want to feel good again, feel joy again, feel part of the world again, we should strive to become intentional survivors and not hapless victims.

3/21/2013 - Mitch Carmody
img-description
Moments…Just Moments

Have you ever had a moment? You know, a moment when time stood still and everything was as it should be—right and good and whole and wonderful.

3/21/2013 - Darcie Sims
img-description
Recognizing and Grieving Secondary Losses

Death has that ripple effect as well, setting off a disturbance that moves across time and space.

3/21/2013 - Jill LaMorie
img-description
Run and Remember: Corporate Challenge

The Corporate Challenge program allows companies to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by our loved ones while creating awareness and raise funds.

3/21/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Run and Remember: Running the MCM for TAPS

I volunteered for the team with some reluctance, because I was initially focused on the race itself.

3/21/2013 - David Easley
img-description
She Said, He Said

We are fortunate that we can allow ourselves and each other to continue to love and honor our late spouses and that we can share that with our combined five children.

3/21/2013 - Chris Sweet and Danielle Balmer Sweet
img-description
Taking Action

A part of me died with my precious son. However, there are parts of me beginning to creep back into everyday life despite my resistance.

3/21/2013 - Alice Daniel
img-description
Spotlight on Service: Marissa Tarulli

Marissa admits that the most challenging thing about volunteering is “finding the time to do it, making the extra effort to make it a part of your schedule.”

3/21/2013 - TAPS
img-description
Out of My Comfort Zone

I took myself out of my comfort zone in so many ways and I succeeded by pushing myself to do something new and out of the norm.

3/18/2013 - Rachael Hill
img-description
Life: A Game of Chance

When March 1 rolls around, I feel like every emotion within my being has been placed in a cup and shaken with an enthusiasm I no longer possess.

3/11/2013 - Michele Hiester Marcum
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: Our Loved One's Special Quality

This week survivors shared a special ability or "knack" that made their loved one unique.

3/9/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
Birthdays

As I turn one more year older, I recognize that I have had one more year without my brother, one more year of healing, one more year to tell my story.

3/4/2013 - Elizabeth Rozier
img-description
Watching My Kids Grow

For my kids especially, I have realized that their grief is going to be an ever-evolving process.

2/25/2013 - Rachael Hill
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: Our Places of Comfort

Through the Saturday message we offer a safe and comfortable site to share and reach out across the miles to other survivors offering care and comfort.

2/23/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
Love is in the Air

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day, my friends. What does your heart remember?

2/11/2013 - Michele Hiester Marcum
img-description
Saturday Morning Message: Sleeping & Grief

Sleep. What do you do to get the rest that is needed while grieving?

2/9/2013 - Carol Lane
img-description
New Traditions

I can smile at the new outlook on life that his life and death have given me.

2/4/2013 - Elizabeth Rozier
img-description
TAPS Quick Series - Benefits and Finance

This guide is meant to help military survivors take a deep breath and think through their financial options following their loved one's death.

1/28/2013 - TAPS
img-description
TAPS Quick Series - Survivor Guide

This guide provides an introduction to TAPS programs and events. It also includes valuable information on grief and trauma as well as coping strategies.

1/28/2013 - TAPS
img-description
A New Year = A New Grief?

It’s yet another year beginning without our loved ones...and yet another year ending without them.

1/21/2013 - Shanette Booker
img-description
Bring on 2013

I’ve decided one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to tackle these hurdles as best I can and make the most of what this new city has to offer.

1/14/2013 - Dayna Wood