America's Military and Veteran Caregiver Survivors
Our nation's military and veteran caregiver survivors are the hands and hearts of a nation.
Photographed poppy field dedicated to Sergeant Mateo Donaldson courtesy of Angie Pena-Smith
The Caregiver to Survivor Journey
Over the last few years, millions of Americans caring for an ill or injured loved one have become bereaved caregiver survivors. The pandemic contributed to these losses, along with the continued rise in suicide and drug-associated deaths. Military and veteran families and caregivers have not been immune from these losses or from those due to toxic exposures.
Today, illness and suicide loss account for the top two causes of death for service members and veterans. Through years of caring, their families have faced changes in roles and relationships, too often becoming burdened by otherwise avoidable hardships due to a lack of understanding and insufficient support. They have not, however, escaped death’s legacy of loss and grief.
To respectfully understand the journey of the growing population of bereaved caregivers and suicide survivors, it is essential that we research, record, and report their experiences through collaborations like the Caregiver to Survivor (C2S) Partnership and its 2023 Full Report and 2023 Executive Summary.
Press Release: Top Military and Caregiver Survivor Organizations Release Joint Report on Complications Faced by Caregiver and Suicide Survivors
TAPS Actions We're Taking
As part of the TAPS Family, we are here to support you along every step of your grief journey. Learn more about the ways we can help you connect with advocates, subject matter experts, peer professionals, community counseling, trusted partners and much more.
TAPS is the leading voice for the families of those who died as a result of toxic exposure illnesses, is co-chair of the Toxic Exposure in the American Military (TEAM) Coalition, and is working to ensure proper implementation for veterans and survivors.
Every TAPS program is designed to help you feel companioned as you grieve, supported as you rebuild and united with other survivors as we choose to hope. TAPS helps survivors create rich lives despite loss, knowing we carry our loved ones with us - knowing that Love Lives On.
who support and connect you as you care for your military or veteran loved one.
Hidden Heroes with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation connects military caregivers to a community of support, local events and resources to help them along their caregiving journey.
The Military and Veteran Caregiver Network with the American Red Cross is an official partner of TAPS. Get connected with peers that have walked in your shoes as well as resources to help you move forward in the days ahead.
For more information, contact us at email@example.com.
About the Poppy field imagery on this page: Each June, a Michigan meadow becomes a sea of red Flanders poppies, white daisies, and blue bachelor buttons as a living tribute to Sergeant Mateo Donaldson, who died by suicide in 2015 after serving our country. Mateo's surviving parents planted the wildflowers to honor their son, never knowing the comfort it would bring to military survivors and to service members and veterans carrying invisible wounds. Poppy field photos courtesy of Angie Smith Photography + More