Becoming Someone’s Why

Author: TAPS

During the last week of September, close to 100 military and veteran surviving family members, representing 25 states, walked the halls of the U.S. Capitol led by the TAPS Government Relations and Legislative Affairs team. These survivors, ranging from ages 8 to 76 years old, had one goal — to advocate for four key bills that would have a profound impact on their lives, their fellow survivors around the country, and the survivors who will one day walk their path of loss.

Survivors at Capitol HIll

Over the course of just two days, the attending survivors formed 16 groups and visited 300 congressional offices, meeting with all 50 states, to voice their support for the Love Lives On Act, the Caring for Survivors Act, the Health Care Fairness for Military Families Act, and the CHAMPVA Children’s Care Protection Act in an effort to gain support for each piece of legislation. 

The numbers are impressive on their own, but they don’t tell the whole story. Behind each of those 100-plus survivors in attendance was a story — a story of love, loss, and the challenges of carrying on. Behind each of those 100-plus survivors was a why — a reason they were in this place sharing their stories. 

Senator Warnock with military survivors

TAPS Gold Star Advocacy Week

TAPS Gold Star Advocacy Week

In bravely letting their stories echo through the halls of Congress, these survivors — as TAPS Government and Legislative Affairs Director Candace Wheeler phrased it — “became someone else’s why.” Lawmakers who sat down to truly hear what these survivors had to say will forever point to that meeting, that story, and that survivor as their why for supporting, not only the four pieces of legislation at stake, but any legislation that impacts the families of America’s fallen. 

To the survivors who advocated with us in person, thank you for sharing your story on behalf of military and veteran survivors nationwide. To our TAPS Family members who were unable to join us, we felt your support. We continue to encourage all survivors and supporters to keep reaching out to legislators. Voice your concerns, and tell your stories — they could become someone else’s why.

TAPS Survivor Advocacy

If you are interested in getting involved or have questions, please contact TAPS Government & Legislative Affairs team at As your advocates on the Hill, we are here for you.

Photos: TAPS Archives