Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve
Author: Matt Daud
TAPS seminars and events are always full of colorful and distinct shirts — red, black, white, green, teal, purple, blue, gray, yellow, and burgundy. We wear them to show our connection to TAPS and to each other.
When I am at the airport, I am always on the lookout for anyone wearing one of the unmistakable TAPS shirts as I walk through the terminal. I pass thousands of passengers during busy times and see all manner of shirts, but TAPS shirts have been elusive.
Proudly displaying TAPS shirts, jackets, luggage tags, hats, and bracelets opens the door to inquiries from other travelers, like “What is TAPS?” And just like that, you have a chance to share who we are and all we do. These questions can also become “Remember the Dash” moments, allowing you to talk about your loved one.
I have found people to be receptive to these stories. You never know when your shirt and your story will recruit a new TAPS supporter, teach someone about our mission, or help a survivor who had no idea this organization existed for them.
There is a strong message attached to our shirts. They say that we belong to a family unlike any other. I will be keeping an eye out at the airport for those familiar TAPS shirts and the meaningful connections they create.
"There is a strong message attached to our shirts. They say that we belong to a family unlike any other."
Matt Daud is the surviving father of Corporal Christopher Daud, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves,
and a TAPS Survivor Care Team Associate.
Photos: TAPS Archives.