Stories for 2014


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Scars at Christmas

I have to prepare my heart for the onslaught of pressure to the healing wounds. I know that from Thanksgiving (our anniversary) through Christmas, I will hurt.

12/22/2014 - Linda Ambard
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TAPS Magazine Winter 2014

Volume 20, Issue 4

12/21/2014 - TAPS Quarterly Magazine
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Spotlight on Service: John Rhoten

No matter where he is stationed, John remains committed to TAPS, ultimately adding to the success of the organization.

12/21/2014 - TAPS
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What Do You Say, Dear?

Here are some coping strategies on how to deal with invitations, shared by members of the TAPS Online Community.

12/21/2014 - TAPS
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To Watch or Not To Watch

After viewing a film, it's important to be able to talk about your emotions with friends and family. TAPS is available 24/7 to offer support, call 800-959-TAPS.

12/21/2014 - Kelly Griffith
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The Calendar of Grief

Now I finally with the hard-learned ability concentrate on his life, the love he had for us, the great joys we shared together, and all the memories we cherish.

12/21/2014 - Marilyn Collins
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The Run and Remember Team

The newly inaugurated Team TAPS will incorporate biking, walking, triathlons, swimming, tennis, and other competitive events.

12/21/2014 - TAPS
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Education Support Services

On September 30, 2014, TAPS launched the Military Survivor Education Support Services Program at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

12/21/2014 - Ashlynne Haycock
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Letters from TAPS: TAPS Seminars

Our hope is that you will find a true understanding of how much your TAPS family cares about you and is here for you.

12/21/2014 - Emily Munoz
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Give Yourself the Gift of Memory

Focusing exclusively on the past and ignoring the present is not healthy. But as you know, memories are all you have.

12/21/2014 - Bob Baugher
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Embracing the Sadness of Grief

Sadness is a hallmark symptom of grief, which in turn is the consequence of losing something we care about.

12/21/2014 - Alan Wolfelt
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Coping with Holidays and Celebrations

When a loved one has died, holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays inevitably bring fresh memories and a re-experience of the pain of grief.

12/21/2014 - Helen Fitzgerald
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Christmas Without Chris

If we are gentle with each other and supportive of what we all need, it makes going through grief at the holidays a little easier.

12/21/2014 - Ami Neiberger-Miller
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Books for the Holidays 2014

Here are some books that can help fill the void and bring extra support at this time of year.

12/21/2014 - Betsy Beard
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This is Happening

I accomplished what I have been aiming to do for the last ten years. Since my husband died in 2004, it has been my main focus. I got both kids off to college.

12/16/2014 - Sarah Greene
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Keeping Pace

On October 26th, 2014 I ran the Marine Corps Marathon with TAPS, my second ever full marathon!

12/8/2014 - Rachael Hill
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Saturday Morning Message: Honoring Our Loved Ones

Honoring your loved one can be on a traditional holiday or one that is special just to your family and friends.

11/29/2014 - Carol Lane
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A Father's Quest to Honor his Son

Okay, it's finished! The quest to honor my son, SGT Thomas R Bagosy USMC is complete.

11/24/2014 - Bob Bagosy
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When Families Grieve at the Holidays: Supporting Children Coping with Loss

For children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or another significant person in their lives, the holiday season can be tough.

11/24/2014 - TAPS
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Saturday Morning Message: Grief Meltdowns

Grief episodes or meltdowns are times that are hard to control. Sometimes they arrive when you are at places or at times when you don't expect them.

11/22/2014 - Carol Lane
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Once Upon A Time

As I ran the hills of the Athens Marathon today, I recognize a huge change that I have made.

11/17/2014 - Linda Ambard
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Saturday Morning Message: Feeling Your Loved One Close

The discussion for this week focuses on a time or event when something happened and you felt your loved one close.

11/1/2014 - Carol Lane
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Promises

My other promise to Phil was to find a chapter two-find love again.

10/27/2014 - Linda Ambard
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Saturday Morning Message: Honoring Loved Ones With Service

Survivor stories are full of courage and the emotions they have as they serve others while celebrating the lives of their loved ones.

10/25/2014 - Carol Lane
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Hope Against All Hope

Phil's death caused a quake in my belief system and it has made me question who I am, what I stand for, and what I carry in my heart.

10/20/2014 - Linda Ambard
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Is It Ok?

IT IS OK. Continue living for you and honoring them. The way I see it is it's your life and you have to continue living it, no one else…

10/13/2014 - Shanette Booker
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Saturday Morning Message: Jewelry Options, Part 2

Inside the heart locket is my son, Bryon's, boot camp picture. When I go to TAPS or military events, I wear other pins as well. However, the heart is always with me.

10/11/2014 - Carol Lane
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A Milestone - Cody's 21st Birthday

I knew this would be a very difficult birthday to endure, and I wanted to be able to embrace it with open arms.

10/6/2014 - Peggy Scallorn
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Saturday Morning Message: Jewelry Options

There were so many good ideas that came in about the wearing and placement of jewelry in the home that there will be two weeks on this topic.

10/4/2014 - Carol Lane
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TAPS Peer Mentors Share Their Experience

Our Peer Mentor network is a circle of comfort, hope and understanding; at its core is survivors helping survivors heal through one-to-one connections.

9/30/2014 - TAPS Media
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Lessons Learned

In 2002 I lost my dad while he was training to deploy to Iraq. I was ten years old. College was the last thing on my mind and not high on my mother's priority list.

9/29/2014 - Ashlynne Haycock
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Saturday Morning Message: What Do Others Do About Vactions

Everyone's idea of a vacation is different. Mine involves either visiting relatives or going to the ocean beach.

9/27/2014 - Carol Lane
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The Fog of Grief

Survivor mom, Betsy Beard shares the "normal" part of the fog of grief and how to deal with it in a positive light so you can eventually move on.

9/23/2014 - Betsy Beard
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Military Mother Finds Comfort after Son's Suicide

Peggy Scallorn shares the grief of a military mother after losing her son to a veteran suicide and the help she got from TAPS.

9/23/2014 - Peggy Scallorn
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The Dream, Revised

Life… it happened...but I can't get over the "golden" years so to speak that I feel were suppose to happen in my life.

9/22/2014 - Tabitha Bonilla
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TAPS Magazine Fall 2014

Volume 20, Issue 3

9/21/2014 - TAPS Quarterly Magazine
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Welcome Home

This was indeed "Mike's home." We felt so at peace about this whole area, and definitely about this particular spot.

9/21/2014 - Donna Elm
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Spotlight on Service: Shaun Smithson

Survivors who have been with TAPS since the early 2000s would probably recognize Shaun, as he's been a strong pillar of support through the years.

9/21/2014 - TAPS
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Understanding A Widow’s Heart, New Directions

I realize that what can trip us up the most in navigating grief is the "Why?" That one question burrows itself into our minds, multiplying the pain.

9/21/2014 - Emma Wright
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To Your Health

Maintaining good health is critical to healthy grieving, progressing on our grief journey, establishing the "new normal" that allows us to love life again.

9/21/2014 - LaRita Archibald
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The Capacity to Love

What higher purpose is there in life but to give and receive love? Love is the essence of a life of abundance and joy.

9/21/2014 - Alan Wolfelt
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Attending TAPS Events: Encouragement for the Newcomer

TAPS extends the loving atmosphere with special messages, publications, and online forums to inform, uplift, and sustain us as the journey continues.

9/21/2014 - TAPS
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Resource Center: Casework Partnership

The TAPS Casework Department is proud to be available for our TAPS family members, supporting them on a wide variety of topics and issues.

9/21/2014 - TAPS
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Now I’m Older

Both siblings began experiencing problems when they reached the age their sibling had been when he died.

9/21/2014 - Stephanie Frogge
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Learning to Let Go

To those who are trying to fake it and to those who are sitting on the fence, I highly encourage you to let go of your fears and join the TAPS family.

9/21/2014 - Amber Baum
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Colorado Celebrity Classic 2014

Now in its ninth year, the three-day event held in June in Denver netted more than $250,000 to support TAPS programs.

9/21/2014 - Christine Burtt
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Book Shelf: The Way Men Heal

the best way to promote healing in ourselves is to seek to understand. The Way Men Heal can help us on that journey.

9/21/2014 - Kyle Balduf
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A Few Good Men

I realized, when my son was about to turn eighteen, just how important these men had been. And thus was born "Project Eighteen."

9/21/2014 - Sarah Greene
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Beginning of the New Normal

Tommy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. We, his family, continue to live with this new normal.

9/15/2014 - Bob Bagosy
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Remembering My Son - A Dear Mother's Reflection

My life mission is to continue to keep his memory alive, bring awareness to others of suicide and hope to those of us who are living through the loss.

9/8/2014 - Peggy Scallorn
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Feelings In the Spaces of My Heart For Which There Are No Words

When Phil's candle burned out far too early, I snuffed out a part of me with him. In the 23 years of marriage, I found a safe harbor to weather the storms in.

9/1/2014 - Linda Ambard
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Marriage and Death - A Semper Fi Story

My week started with my son getting married and ended with my father being buried with honor.

8/25/2014 - Bob Bagosy
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Three Years After Phil was Killed

Three years after Phil was killed, I've realized that I, like most, had a skewed perception of grief.

8/18/2014 - Linda Ambard
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Finding Hope Amid Devastating Loss: A Military Widow Who Lost her Marine to Suicide Shares Her Story

By engaging in suicide postvention to assist grieving military families, I was able to find new meaning and purpose in my life.

8/11/2014 - Kim Ruocco
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Please Don't Ask Me How My Son Died

And replay that moment once again - Understand this painful journey - With compassion in your heart..

8/5/2014 - Karen Mojecki
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Four Years... And Counting

In one breath four years seems like an eternity, but yet in another it feels like just yesterday.

7/28/2014 - Rachael Hill
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Ray's Close Call

My question throughout the ordeal was "Why now? Why here?" And the answer came to me: we were surrounded by our TAPS family and I felt supported by so many.

7/21/2014 - Debbie Newhouse
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Times Keeps On Ticking...

More than nine years have disappeared since my brother died in Afghanistan. Nearly 3400 days. Or more than 4,896,000 minutes, if I were counting.

7/14/2014 - Michele Hiester Marcum
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In This Dress

I have a dress that sits in the back of my closet. I wear it on special occasions because of what it has come to represent.

7/7/2014 - Linda Ambard
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I Was Married. I'm Widowed. I'm Still Married.

He was a tall caramel complexioned man. His smile lit up when he walked into the room.

6/30/2014 - Shanette Booker
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Baby, It's Cold Out Here

Loneliness creeps up on a person. In unexpected traumatic death, there is no preparing for being alone.

6/23/2014 - Linda Ambard
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TAPS Magazine Summer 2014

Volume 20, Issue 2

6/21/2014 - TAPS Quarterly Magazine
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Understanding A Widow’s Heart, Part Two

Being a widow (young or old, with kids or without) does not mean that the person has lost the ability to decide what is best for herself and her family.

6/21/2014 - Emma Wright
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The Second Year

Another Gold Star Mother had told me the second year was worse than the first, and I didn't believe it. But it was true in many ways.

6/21/2014 - Janet Crane
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The Fabric of Grief

Has your wardrobe changed since the loss of your loved one? I can tell you that mine has definitely changed.

6/21/2014 - Sarah Greene
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TAPS Care Groups: Finding Safety in Numbers

The need to be understood and to connect with others who understand is a key to finding hope and healing.

6/21/2014 - Zaneta Gileno
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Spotlight on Service: SFC Pablo Ruiz III

For Pablo, the bond that he shares with his mentee and seeing smiles on the faces of survivors is what it's all about.

6/21/2014 - TAPS
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Resource Center: TAPS National Military Survivor Helpline and Website Live Chat

TAPS chooses to make services and support available every day of the year and any time of the night or day through constant access to the TAPS helpline.

6/21/2014 - Kyle Balduf
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Helping a Suicide Survivor Heal

As helpers, we need to provide support and acceptance so that survivors can grieve in healthy ways.

6/21/2014 - Alan Wolfelt
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Healing Through Writing

Without Miles, I started to understand that I might grieve forever, but I would still need a reason to get out of bed. Writing became that reason.

6/21/2014 - Artis Henderson
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Grief and Your Health

The loss of a loved one to death is a life-shattering experience. It affects us physically as well as emotionally.

6/21/2014 - Margaret Gerner
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Book Shelf: Unremarried Widow

Unremarried Widow (Simon & Schuster, 2014) is an honest, gripping memoir about a fresh, bold love sandwiched between two eerily similar tragedies.

6/21/2014 - Joanne Steen
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Feeling My Way Through Grief

I learned a long time ago that there is no way around grief. The only way through grief is…through it.

6/21/2014 - Betty Ann Rutledge
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The Answers

I believe that my quest to know Tommy was successful, but I still realize I will never know why.

6/17/2014 - Bob Bagosy
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TAPS Family Reunion

The TAPS family is really just that - a family. The event feels like one big family reunion with a matriarch (Bonnie), some wizened elders, many children.

6/12/2014 - Heather Nesle
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Jeff's Stuff

I feel like I am finally ready to let some of it go and only keep what truly matters most, but it still isn't easy.

6/9/2014 - Rachael Hill
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Light in the Midst of Darkness - Bringing Hope to Fellow Survivors

The importance of having someone who can understand what you've been through was so clear to me when TAPS helped me through my mourning.

6/2/2014 - Paul McShan
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The 20th Annual TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp

Thank you to First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden for sitting with TAPS children in the amphitheater yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery.

5/28/2014 - TAPS
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To Be A Patriot

Being a true Patriot means that we actively seek ways to honor the fallen by teaching the living.

5/26/2014 - Michele Hiester Marcum
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Choices

Who am I without my Phil next to me? Who am I and where do I go next?

5/19/2014 - Linda Ambard
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2014 Is My Year of Hope

It is my year of promise, new beginnings, hope, and I intuitively know that I will find my way.

5/19/2014 - Linda Ambard
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Making a Difference in the Lives of TAPS Children

I love being a part of these girls' lives, but most importantly, I love how much they have influenced my life.

5/12/2014 - CPT Amanda Gonzalez
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Week in Review for May 7th

TAPS sends our thoughts to you and shares we are only a phone call away. Call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-959-TAPS (8277).

5/7/2014 - TAPS
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Sharing the Journey One Step at a Time

Helping others on their grief journey has also allowed myself to better understand my own grief.

5/5/2014 - Peggy Scallorn
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The Powerful Experience of a Civilian Serving TAPS

For those who have never served our country, TAPS provides the perfect vehicle to physically show your appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice of others.

4/28/2014 - Casey Callanan
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Celebrate Life Month

April is my celebrate life month. I simply look for ways to celebrate the life I have been given and for ways to honor the man who loved me well for 23 years.

4/21/2014 - Linda Ambard
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TAPS Peer Mentoring Templated to Help Military and Veteran Caregivers

The TAPS peer mentoring model will be templated and utilized to create a new network to help military and veteran caregivers.

4/16/2014 - TAPS
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A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

This past month my sister-in-law remarried. She and my brother met at Texas A&M and married the week following graduation.

4/14/2014 - Elizabeth Rozier
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Saturday Morning Message: A Different Path

Survivors talk about honoring loved ones by helping others or dedicating work to the communities that supported their families in the time of need.

4/12/2014 - Carol Lane
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Team TAPS Participates in Windy25 Memorial 5K

The Windy25 Memorial 5K is dedicated to the memory of the flight crew and passengers of the Windy25, an Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter that crashed.

4/9/2014 - TAPS
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TAPS Helps Families of Those Killed at Fort Hood

When a major military tragedy like the shooting at Fort Hood happens, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) springs into action.

4/7/2014 - WBUR/NPR
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Two Brothers’ Mission: Pay It Forward

As a way to pay it forward to TAPS, my younger son Cole came up with a wonderful idea of how we could help raise funds for TAPS programs and services.

4/7/2014 - Bobbie McHenry
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TAPS: Helping Families of Fallen Troops

(TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America's fallen military heroes

4/3/2014 - TAPS Media
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TAPS Honor Guard Gala

The 2014 TAPS Honor Guard Gala was held Thursday, March 27th. It was a remarkable evening for TAPS as we celebrated our 20th Anniversary.

4/2/2014 - TAPS
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About the TAPS Peer Mentor Program

The TAPS peer mentoring program connects surviving families of our fallen troops with each other for companionship and support.

3/31/2014 - TAPS Media
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From Tragedy to Helping Others: Military Widow Gives Back

This year's Senator Ted Stevens Leadership Award at the TAPS Honor Guard Gala honoree was Nicki Bunting.

3/31/2014 - Nicki Bunting
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In My Dreams

Sometimes in the quiet moments the longing sneaks in. It comes in my sleeping hours when I will awake with a sense of wanting and knowing all that has been lost.

3/24/2014 - Linda Ambard
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Semper Fi Moments

Danny was a good Marine and veteran. He volunteered with the VFW and Vietnam vets. Here we are sitting on Santa's lap, way back in 1966.

3/24/2014 - Bob Bagosy
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TAPS Magazine Spring 2014

Volume 20, Issue 1

3/21/2014 - TAPS Quarterly Magazine
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Attending TAPS Events: Encouragement for the Newcomer

Deciding to go to a TAPS event can be difficult for the new survivor. We question how we will fit in, how we will be treated, and what the event will be like.

3/21/2014 - TAPS
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Understanding a Widow’s Heart, Part One

My mindset was one of independence and resilience. I wanted nothing except to take care of Kiley and raise her in a way that would make Todd proud.

3/21/2014 - Emma Wright
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Book Shelf: Finding Peace Without All the Pieces

Finding Peace Without All the Pieces has helped me to patch up some holes in my heart and recognize and validate the victory of living after such tragic loss.

3/21/2014 - Rebecca Morrison
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Boxes in the Attic: Part Two

It is said that one of the tasks of grieving is to relocate the loved one from being a physical presence to that of residing in our hearts and memories.

3/21/2014 - Betsy Beard
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Cold Hands, Warm Hearts

Sitting on the plane from Seattle to Anchorage, my heart was a mix of emotions. I was headed for the TAPS siblings retreat in beautiful Alaska in February 2013.

3/21/2014 - Kelly Griffith
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Friends of TAPS: Oshkosh Defense

Oshkosh Defense has generously supported TAPS national programs for three consecutive years and has supported the TAPS Honor Guard Gala.

3/21/2014 - TAPS
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Guilt—What It Is

Guilt feelings are our brain’s way of attempting to make sense of something that defies logic.

3/21/2014 - Bob Baugher
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I Didn’t Cry This Morning

The soul-crushing weight of grief is almost more than a person can bear, and we often wonder if the day will ever come when we'll smile or laugh again.

3/21/2014 - Dennis Apple
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Resource Center: TAPS Military Survivor Education Support Services

One of our goals at TAPS is to make every effort to ensure that surviving military dependents are not put in a position to pay for school out of pocket or through loans.

3/21/2014 - TAPS
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Twenty Years of Hope and Healing

Safe enough to cry, safe enough to laugh, safe enough to share dreams. Twenty years ago, one of those dreams became a reality with the creation of TAPS

3/21/2014 - TAPS
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Spotlight on Service: Nicki Bunting

Nicki Bunting may be a busy single mom to two active little boys, but she also cares about helping others and wants to give back to the community.

3/21/2014 - TAPS
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Why Rituals Help Us Mourn…and Heal

Why rituals are essential and how you can continue to use the power of ritual to help yourself and your family heal, even long after the death and funeral.

3/21/2014 - Alan Wolfelt
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Seven Years Since My Last Hug

When it was time to for us to leave, Charles drove us to the airport. Yep, that was a hug to remember. I didn't know then that it would have to last a lifetime.

3/17/2014 - Charles Palmer
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Saturday Morning Message: Supporting Others in Grief

Finding ways to help others who are grieving can be easier when you think of the support others gave you.

3/15/2014 - Carol Lane
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My Unexpected Journey into the Healing Arms of TAPS

My children and I suffered through the sudden and untimely death of my husband, we also survived the same car accident which claimed his life.

3/10/2014 - Bridget Singletary-Goodwin
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TAPS Remembers Our Friend Darcie Sims

TAPS extends our sincere condolences to the family of our mentor and friend Darcie Sims.

3/5/2014 - TAPS
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The Changing of Linda

For some reason this year, Valentine's Day is gouging me. This day has become my "Single Awareness Day."

3/3/2014 - Linda Ambard
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Saturday Morning Message: Songs of the Heart

This week, members of our TAPS family shared songs that are meaningful to them.

3/1/2014 - Carol Lane
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Saturday Morning Message: What Happens at the TAPS National Seminar

This week, survivors who have attended the National Military Survivor Seminar share their experience with survivors who have not attended.

2/22/2014 - Carol Lane
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Waiting to Exhale . . .

Oh my God. This is real. Jon's dead. Never fully exhaling, I crumbled to the floor.

2/17/2014 - Amy Dozier
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The Holidays Aren't Over . . . Yet

My holiday season is over after all the rose petals have fallen and the boxes of chocolate hearts are empty.

2/10/2014 - Shanette Booker
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Washington Capitals Launch Courage Caps, Host Skating Party for TAPS Families

Washington Capitals hosted more than 120 children and adults assisted by TAPS for a skating party at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

2/5/2014 - TAPS
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To Infinity and Beyond

Those sparks ignited with the magic of Disney and are blazing. I chose Disney because it is a happy place and my inner girl child comes out.

2/3/2014 - Linda Ambard
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"Moving" Forward

Change is sometimes the only constant we can rely on in our lives. No matter how good or bad a situation is, at some point it will inevitably change.

1/27/2014 - Rachael Hill
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Enough

I have my memories, both old and new. And for that, I am grateful.

1/20/2014 - Michele Hiester Marcum
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TAPS Issues Statement on Recent Military Deaths

TAPS stands ready to assist the families of our fallen troops and welcomes anyone grieving the death of a service member, regardless of where they died or how they died.

1/16/2014 - TAPS
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Another Chapter of a Father's Journey

There are a thousand individual events that occur where each family feels the loss. Things left unsaid; regrets for a life lost so young.

1/13/2014 - Bob Bagosy
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Saturday Morning Message: Reward Your Bravery

Self-care is not selfish; it is necessary to replenish ourselves so we can have the stamina to care for others.

1/11/2014 - Carol Lane
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Saturday Morning Message: TAPS Seminars and Retreats

Going to a seminar or a retreat can be a moving experience. If you haven’t attended either, you may want to know the special qualities of each.

1/4/2014 - Carol Lane