The TAPS Daily - April 20, 2020
Welcome to The TAPS Daily - your source for some of the latest news, resources, and thought pieces from across the military and veteran community during the COVID-19 response.
- VA Partners with Treasury Department to Deliver Economic Impact Payments to Veterans and Survivors
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it is working directly with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Treasury Department to ensure delivery of ‘Economic Impact Payments’ to Veterans and survivors who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments from VA without additional paperwork or IRS filings.
- New York City police grocery shop for elderly Korean War veteran stuck inside
New York City police officers jumped at the chance to help an elderly man and Korean War veteran in need of groceries amid new coronavirus concerns, a department official announced Monday.
- 'That Charisma:' Son of Medal of Honor Recipient Bennie Adkins Remembers Hero Father
Medal of Honor recipient Bennie Adkins faced his last battle against an invisible enemy called COVID-19 with the same resilience and determination that had seen him through three tours of combat as a Green Beret in Vietnam, his son said Saturday.
- 'You're not alone'
(The Guam Daily Post)
As families of two fallen service members are flown home from Guam, a Gold Star family also impacted by coronavirus loss steps forward to let them know they are not alone.
- Military Veterans Head to N.Y.C. to Staff COVID-19 Field Hospital Named for Late Navy SEAL
The Ryan F. Larkin Field Hospital — named for a late Navy SEAL and medic who had undiagnosed brain scarring and died by suicide - is staffed by 115 former military medics, nurses and support personnel and can care for up to 216 coronavirus patients.
TAPS In the News
- Waiting out a pandemic that feels like war: Insights from an Iraq War veteran
Army veteran Matt Mabe, TAPS Director of Strategic Operations for Suicide Prevention and Postvention, poignantly shares his thoughts on the coronavirus pandemic.
- TAPS helping National Guard troops and families impacted by COVID-19
(New York Times)
As the National Guard responds to the coronavirus pandemic, TAPS is working to ensure personnel and their families are eligible for active duty benefits.
Government Relations / Benefits
- IRS Sets Deadline For Some Vets, Seniors And Other Non-Filers To Add Children To Stimulus Checks
The IRS has announced that people who receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement benefits, or VA benefits who have children and didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 have until Wednesday, April 22, 2020, to update information to include qualifying children.
- Financial help for service members affected by the coronavirus
(Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
As the public health crisis posed by COVID-19 worsens, many Americans across the country are experiencing significant financial shock. Servicemembers, veterans, and military families are no exception.
- Tricare Coronavirus Guidance
As the nation addresses the COVID-19 public health emergency, TRICARE is adapting. Learn where you can find the information you need to stay informed.
- Defense Department Approves Ketamine-Based Antidepressant for Some Patients
Spravato, the controversial ketamine-based nasal spray used to treat severe depression, will be available to Tricare beneficiaries on a case-by-case basis beginning May 18, Defense Health Agency officials announced Friday.
- 35,000 Military Retirees Will Soon See a Tricare Refund
About 35,000 military retirees will soon receive cash refunds from Tricare, thanks to a policy change made last year that affects how Tricare calculates annual out-of-pocket maximum payments.
- Veterans are entitled to free hearing aids through the VA
(New York Post)
People who have served in the Armed Forces should know that vets are entitled to free hearing aids through the federal Veterans Administration. You can get all the information you need at Prosthetics Hearing Aids page on the VA website.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- Atop Tower of Grief, a Place to Breathe
During the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine many people are dealing with that place not many of them ever cared to venture: the inner world of their own minds. Here’s how one surviving girlfriend applied grief lessons learned after the death of her USAF boyfriend to offer others hope through despair.
- Supporting Your Children During Uncertain Times
Here are some ideas to help you take care of yourself, be a strong role model for your children, and support your family through the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Staying Mentally Fit During Social Distancing
Approaching social distancing in a strategic way can not only help you cope in the moment but be good for your overall mental health as well.
- The Coronavirus Challenge: The Wonder of Waiting
(Center for Loss)
Have you noticed a number of people are saying some variation on, “I just can’t WAIT until these restrictions are lifted”?
- Indoor Activities For Kids Stuck At Home Because Of The Coronavirus
Make being cooped up inside unforgettable - 27 indoor activities for kids stuck at home because of the coronavirus.
- The COVID-19 Anxiety You're Feeling Might Be Anticipatory Grief
We're collectively feeling a loss that hasn’t yet occurred, on a global scale.
- Pandemic isolation is leading to more postpartum depression, anxiety
Everything that we tell postpartum women to do, like connect to other people, get out of the house, establish a routine, they can’t do that.
- Free COVID-19 Resources
(Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute)
Free resources to help you manage stress and ease anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic.
- 5 tips for leading during COVID-19, from the Sergeant Major of the Army
(We Are The Mighty)
Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston gives his advice for leaders while we work through this pandemic.
- Pentagon orders thousands of face masks for DOD personnel
(Stars and Stripes)
The Pentagon has ordered thousands of face coverings made of cloth for about 3 million Defense Department personnel to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, a top Pentagon official announced Monday.
- USNS Mercy Sends 40 of its Medical Crew to Help Nursing Home with Coronavirus Care
With nursing homes seeing some of the most cases of coronavirus, the Navy hospital ship Mercy is sending some of its crew ashore to help care for older residents.
- Florida Guard Aids COVID-19 Testing at Veterans Nursing Home
Florida Army National Guard soldiers from the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team assisted with COVID-19 testing for veterans and staff at the Alexander Nininger Jr. State Veterans Nursing Home in Pembroke Pines.
- Month of the Military Child offers virtual activities as Army Child and Youth Services celebrates 40 years
Even in a time of social distancing, the Army’s observance of Month of the Military Child in April offers opportunities for celebrating the youngest members of the military family and acknowledging the adults who work with them.
- Medal of Honor recipient Bennie Adkins has died of coronavirus
Medal of Honor recipient and Vietnam veteran Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins has passed away after a weeks-long fight against the novel coronavirus.
- Limiting the spread of COVID-19 among homeless veterans
Veterans who are homeless and at-risk of homelessness are vulnerable to COVID-19. To protect them and VA staff, VA personnel and grantees assigned to homelessness programs have implemented aggressive infection prevention techniques and response plans at all locations.
- 50 Years After Apollo 13, Fred Haise Talks Virus, Regrets
Fifty years after Apollo 13 blasted into space, carrying Biloxi, Mississippi native Fred Haise Jr., Commander James Lovell Jr. and John Swigert Jr. to the moon, the “unlucky 13” seems to be at work again with the coronavirus pandemic curtailing commemoration events.
Military Survivor News
- Jesus leaves legacy of love
(The Guam Post Daily)
Gold Star Mother whose youngest son was killed in Iraq becomes first resident of Guam to die from COVID-19.
COVID-19 Key Updates
- Cases in US
Total Cases 746,625; Total Deaths 39,083
- Dr. Fauci Says Easing Lockdown Measures Too Soon Will Lead to 'Big Spike' in Coronavirus Cases: 'It's Gonna Backfire'
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has warned that reopening the economy too quickly by easing lockdown restrictions could lead to a "big spike" in new coronavirus cases.
- White House set to use Defense Production Act to ramp up testing swab manufacturing
The White House is preparing to use the Defense Production Act to give a Maine medical supplies company federal funding so it can ramp up its production of swabs needed for coronavirus testing.
- Reports suggest many have had coronavirus with no symptoms
(Stars and Stripes)
A flood of new research suggests that far more people have had the coronavirus without any symptoms, fueling hope that it will turn out to be much less lethal than originally feared.
- Veterans Affairs coronavirus deaths jump 13 percent over the weekend
The number of coronavirus deaths among Veterans Affairs patients jumped almost 13 percent over the weekend, and the New York City area continues to be the hardest-hit region for veterans dealing with the illness.
- The military continues to diagnose more than 100 new COVID-19 cases a day
Since late April, the services have averaged between 100 and 200 new cases daily among service members. The most recent count, according to DoD’s data, shows 3,438 cases, up from 2,986 on Friday.
- Fort Bragg Reports First COVID-19 Deaths
A Department of the Army employee and military contractor who worked at Fort Bragg have died due to coronavirus illness.
- CDC Wants to Know if Some Sailors on Stricken Carrier Developed Coronavirus Immunity
The Navy and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will begin a voluntary testing of 1,000 sailors on-board the virus-stricken carrier Theodore Roosevelt over the next week to collect data that could give leaders a better understanding of how the virus affects populations in close quarters.
Across the TAPS Family
- MLB, Garth Brooks & Partners Provide Over 4 Million Meals to Fight Childhood Hunger During COVID-19
More than 50 major league baseball players representing all 30 teams have raised nearly $1 million to support childhood hunger prevention during the coronavirus pandemic. TAPS is a partner with many teams across the MLB through the TAPS Sports & Entertainment program.
- Disney unveiled a free 'bedtime hotline' and it's pure magic
(We Are The Mighty)
Our friends at Disney are offering a special way to send messages at bedtime. The Disney Company has helped the TAPS mission of caring for the families of fallen heroes through the Team TAPS and TAPS Sports & Entertainment programs.
- Understanding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act
USAA highlights some of the major provisions for individuals and small businesses in the recently passed $2 trillion CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act. President of USAA Life Company and USAA Investment Management Company, Brandon Carter, serves on the TAPS Board of Directors and USAA is a strong supporter of TAPS.
- The Power of Hope TAPS Talk with Tessy Ojo, CEO The Diana Award
Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award discusses choosing hope to alleviate the pain of the present coronavirus pandemic uncertainty. The Diana Award is the UK based charitable organization set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world. The organization has partnered with TAPS to foster our shared mission of youth peer mentorship.
- Registration Open: TAPS Virtual National Military Survivor Seminar and Family Program
This Memorial Day, TAPS will be presenting a VIRTUAL National Military Survivor Seminar and Family Program as an online event available to everyone, at no cost, with all of the resources, care and love we can offer, coming to you in the comfort of your home.
- TAPS Facebook Live on April 22 Featuring Chef Robert Irvine
Calling our TAPS foodies and chefs of all levels! We are excited to announce our next Facebook Live event — a TAPS Spotlight with Chef Robert Irvine on Wednesday, April 22!
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.