The TAPS Daily
Welcome to The TAPS Daily - curated news and resources relevant to military, veterans, and their families. For more news and resources, visit our Government Resources page.
- Hey Grinch, NORAD is tracking Santa despite coronavirus
The NORAD Tracks Santa program is up and running as the agency prepares to track the Jolly Old Elf for the 65th year, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
- Trump vetoes defense bill, setting up potential override
President Trump followed through Wednesday on his threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), setting up what could be the first and only veto override of his presidency.
- Congress Passes Sweeping Veterans Benefits Package
TAPS was instrumental in the passage of this legislation and will continue to advocate for a variety of other issues in 2021, including ensuring health care and benefits for veterans exposed to toxins and their survivors, increasing Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), allowing surviving spouses to retain benefits upon remarriage, and further expansion of the Fry Scholarship.
- Trump Slams COVID-19 Relief Bill, asks for Changes after Negotiations
President Trump is threatening to derail a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package passed by congress on Monday, calling it a “disgrace” after months of bitter negotiations.
- Acting Secretary of Defense Miller made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan
Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.
- Trump Pardons Marine Vet Duncan Hunter and Contractors Convicted in Iraq Killings
President Donald Trump on Tuesday pardoned 15 people, including Republican allies, a 2016 campaign official ensnared in the Russia probe and former government contractors convicted in a 2007 massacre in Baghdad.
- 32 Years of Tree Stumps, and other Military Family Holiday Traditions
Military families are resilient and flexible, adapting and creating new traditions in new places; here readers share some of their traditions that may bring some much-needed cheer to others.
TAPS In the News
- TAPS Christmas Connection
Many among us will be marking Christmas day without family or friends this year and we want you to know your TAPS family is here for you. The TAPS Christmas Connection is an opportunity to come together on this special day for a little while to share time, perhaps over a cup of hot cocoa, via Zoom on December 25.
- Give the Gift of Hope This Holiday Season
This holiday season support the family of a fallen hero by shopping for gifts that give back.
- The Gift of Leadership
TAPS Caregiver to Survivor Program Senior Advisor Coleen Bowman shares her story as an advocate for legislation to ensure veterans exposed to toxins, and their survivors, receive the healthcare and benefits they have earned through service and sacrifice.
- There's Still Time to Put on Those Running Shoes for TAPS!
The pandemic hasn’t stopped us from lacing up and running, jumping on our bikes, or hiking a trail as we raise funds to support the vital programs of TAPS.
- Support TAPS When You Shop This Holiday Season
100% of proceeds support TAPS programming.
- Video: Healing Trauma and Finding Hope in the Outdoors Webinar
Video recording discussion on the healing power of being in nature and the role that ecological metaphors can play in helping cope with loss
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Upcoming Events
Make plans to join your TAPS Family at an upcoming event.
- TAPS News Archive
Catch up on all the TAPS news stories over the years on the TAPS media resource page.
Government Relations / Benefits
- Study Ranks States According to Veteran Medical Care Spending
A recently released study by disability attorneys Hill & Ponton found which states allocate the highest percentage of their veteran budget to medical care and who uses the care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs by looking at the VA’s Summary of Expenditures for 2019.
- VA gets big Funding Increase in final fiscal 2021 budget deal
The Department of Veterans Affairs will see nearly a 12 percent increase in total funding under thefull year spending deal approved by Congress on Monday, another significant financial boost for a department that has seen steady growth over the last two decades.
- Here are the new toys that Congress is giving the Pentagon for Christmas
Task & Purpose
With Christmas only days away, Congress has passed a massive omnibus appropriations bill that includes lots of holiday goodies for the Pentagon.
- Lawmakers Move to Ease Tax Repayment Pain of more than a Million Troops
Military members and federal civilians would see a significantly less bite to their paychecks come January under a provision that would stretch the repayment of deferred payroll taxes to 12 months instead of four months.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- 3 C's For Holiday Grief
This time of year can bring challenges and TAPS wants to share the 3 C’s for holiday grief that may help you prepare.
- Holiday Grief Tips
As we move into the holiday season and approach the end of this difficult year, always remember you have your TAPS Family to lean on.
- Grief in the Holidays - Finding Meaning and Hope as a Family
TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing
The TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing explores ideas and strategies for coping with the holidays and how hope and meaning might be found even in the midst of grief.
- 3 Steps to a Resilient Holiday Season
The holidays are a time for celebration but can also be a trying time, both emotionally and mentally. Here’s how to strengthen your capacity for resilience and connect with what really matters.
- Decking the Halls with Christmas Lights Brightens a Dark 2020
How one Ohioan decorated her yard to bring holiday cheer to her family after a tough year. The centerpiece is a "memory tree" with handmade ornaments commemorating those her family, neighbors and visitors have lost this year.
- 'Santa Todd' Goes Virtual to Provide Holiday Joy to Children
Todd Bishop started playing Santa Claus a couple years ago as a way to give back during the holidays, but things have changed quite a bit over the past year.
- Biden says the Pentagon isn't briefing his team on suspected Russian cyberattack
President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday that the Pentagon was not briefing his team on many issues, including the suspected Russian cyberattack on the US government.
- My Pledge to Our Nation's Veterans
Former Obama White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough delivers remarks after being introduced as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Queen Theater on December 11, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware.
- Air Force Releases Findings of Racial Disparity Review
The Air Force today released its report on the findings of an Air Force Inspector General independent review into racial disparity.
- COVID-19 Cases Among U.S. Military Personnel Top 100,000
The U.S. military's coronavirus cases have topped 100,000, 10 months after the first case was announced in a service member in late February, according to data released Wednesday by the Defense Department.
- Navy warship's secret mission off West Africa aims to help punish Venezuela
For the past month, the Navy cruiser San Jacinto had sailed off the West African island nation of Cape Verde on a secret mission aimed at helping deal a major blow to President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, an avowed adversary of the Trump administration.
- Marine Corps builds tactical cyber force to help with growing threats
As a result of limited resources and increasing threats, the Marine Corps is spreading expertise and resources from high-end cyber warriors to the fleet as it builds prowess in the domain, with new cyber-focused careers for Marines and first-time tactical cyber forces.
- Pennsylvania teacher stays connected with her students while deployed with Guard
Specialist Anna Schmeck has managed to remain connected with her students and colleagues through letters, live video conferencing with classes, recorded book read-aloud videos, and other recorded messages.
- Troops Share Memories of Holidays Spent Away from Home
Some memorable stories from troops about the holidays they spent away from home in service to the country.
- December is now VA's deadliest month for Coronavirus as deaths top 6,000
December has been the deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic for the Department of Veteran Affairs.
- Program supports wife as she takes on role of caregiver to her husband
Army wife receives help from the Caregiver Support Program offered by the Orlando VA Medical Center.
- Pilot program delivers food to hungry Veterans in Florida
The Department of Veterans Affairs has teamed up with Feeding Northeast Florida, United Way of Northeast Florida and DoorDash to start a pilot program that delivers nonperishable food to veterans.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.