Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden Surprise our TAPS Children at Camp Pendleton Camp Out
Wow! What a week for our children who attended the TAPS/USO Good Grief Camp Out in Southern California sponsored in part by generous grants from Northrup Grumman! They were greeted to a surprise visit by the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden. Each child had the opportunity to personally meet the Vice President and share with him about their loved one they were at the camp to honor. In addition, each child of the camp was paired one: one with a military mentor, many of who were Marines from Camp Pendleton. Throughout the 3 day, 2 night camp, our TAPS children participated in many activities which focused on helping them gain skills to cope with the tragedy they are experiencing, as well as meet other children who they can relate too. The friendships created and the smiles on our TAPS children's faces throughout the camp speak volumes of the impact this experience made in their young lives!
Also this week, TAPS was invited to participate in an exclusive meeting at the Pentagon with leading military organizations to discuss issues of critical importance and offer insights gained from our survivors. Secretary Hagel met with the group, and expressed his appreciation for the work being done by TAPS to care for the families of our nation's fallen heroes. Bonnie Carroll, TAPS Founder and President, spoke about the importance of engaging peers in providing support as TAPS successfully does, benchmarking the success TAPS has in establishing a public-private partnership between the military and a nonprofit. During the meeting, she also emphasized the importance of listening to our suicide survivors for insights that can now inform suicide prevention efforts.
In addition to our briefing with Secretary Hagel, Kim Ruocco, TAPS National Director of Suicide Prevention and Outreach, gave abriefing to the DSPO (Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Office) on themes and trends we are hearing from our families. Each month Kim speaks at these briefings to continue to bring awareness and attention to others about suicide, its impact on our surviving families, and prevention.
Each day our TAPS family expands and we are there to provide compassion, support, and a listening ear for those who reach out to us - many of which call us through our helpline. We are excited to announce that the TAPS National Military Survivor Helpline will be moving into our national headquarters this summer, and we are recruiting three new employees to join our team, as Front Line Responders. If you have the talent, commitment for our fellow TAPS family, and dedication of excellence we encourage you check out our careers section of our website for more information.
The past week has been very memorable, indeed, and we look forward to what our upcoming week will bring! On June 21-22, in Denver, CO we have our annual TAPS Colorado Classic Celebrity Golf Tournament. In addition, on June 22, we welcome and will cheer on our TAPS Run and Remember Team to Seattle, WA for the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon as many of our TAPS family and battle buddies will be running in honor of their hero!
Finally, we would like to announce that registration for our Annual National Military Suicide Survivor and Good Grief Camp will open on Tuesday, June 25th. Be sure to mark your calendars!
We send our thoughts to you, our TAPS family, and share that we are always here for you. If you ever need to talk or have questions about upcoming events, we welcome you to call us, day or night at 1-800-959-8277. Sending much support and care for the week ahead!