The TAPS Daily - April 24, 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.
- Navy's top admiral recommends reinstating captain fired over virus warning
The Navy has recommended reinstating Capt. Brett Crozier, the commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, whose plea for help during a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak aboard the ship not only cost him his job but led the acting Navy secretary to resign shortly afterwards, according to media reports.
- Army Research Shows How Do-It-Yourself Facemasks Can Be as Safe as N95s
Scientists with the Army Research Lab, working with a Massachusetts hospital, have figured out the best easy-to-find materials for making homemade masks: a layer of absorbent cloth combined with a water-repelling fabric, preferably one treated with Scotchgard.
- This Marine is on the front lines treating COVID-19 patients
(We Are The Mighty)
From the Marine Corps to the medical field, Onur Yenigun has exemplified a commitment to service in remarkable ways. Now, he's in his third year of residency in the ER of Stanford Hospital, fighting on the front lines of a new threat: COVID-19.
- 9/11 advocate donates plasma after recovering from COVID-19
John Feal, founder of the Feal Good Foundation, has answered the call to donate potentially life-saving plasma in the wake of recovering himself from COVID-19. Feal has been a dear friend to TAPS attending events, speaking about illness loss, hosting TAPS families for a visit to Ground Zero in NYC, and supporting our efforts with military caregiver and survivor programs.
- ‘Stay home, stay safe and save lives’: 9-year-old honorary police officer urges social distancing
Nine-year-old Jack Beattie, an honorary sergeant of the Irish National Police Service, had a strong message for those still not adhering to social distancing guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Are You a Military Spouse Making Masks? Join This Group
Face masks are in incredible demand right now, and many military spouses have been making them for their community and for sale.
TAPS In the News
- Here's what grieving military families can teach civilians dealing with coronavirus tragedy
TAPS families of the fallen are no strangers to isolation after loss. TAPS President and Founder Bonnie Carroll shares how their experience is helping others dealing with COVID-19.
- Iowa mom makes facemasks to cope with loss of son in Afghanistan war
(Des Moines Register)
TAPS Family in Iowa share how grief at loss of their own fallen hero was motivation to help others during coronavirus pandemic.
- TAPS work on behalf of National Guard families highlighted
(@JakeTapper on Twitter)
From @TAPSorg: “Captain Douglas L. Hickok is the first United States National Guardsman to lose the battle with COVID-19.
- Spotlight on TAPS work to help those grieving during COVID19
(@LeoShane on Twitter)
Advice from @TAPSorg on how to deal with grief during the coronavirus outbreak -- unfortunately, military families are already familiar with unexpected tragedy and loss.
- 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
- Lawmakers criticize VA for changing benefits process amid pandemic
(Stars and Stripes)
A change to the Department of Veterans Affairs claims process set to take effect Friday will cause delays, create confusion and erode veterans’ right to competent representation when applying for VA benefits, lawmakers and veterans groups argue.
- How to Get a New ID Card When Everything Is Shut Down
Is your Common Access Card, Defense Department ID card, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ID card or driver's license expired or about to expire? Here’s what you need to know on how to renew.
- Recent changes with the 2020 NDAA and how they impact you
(We Are The Mighty)
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is an annual piece of legislation which gives authority and funding to the United States military and is filled with items that impact the military family directly. TAPS leadership and advocacy was instrumental in finally repealing the Widow’s Tax.
- Military funeral honors suspended in wake of coronavirus — but not the respect
Someday, after the pandemic subsides, a grateful nation will, once again, be able to display its appreciation. The VA has said that families will be able to return later to have a ceremony with full military honors.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- How Quarantine Might Have Mental Health Benefits
It's hard to see this now, but staying at home because of the coronavirus may benefit your brain (and body).
- The 3 Stages Of Coronavirus Grief: Flatten, Fight, Emerge
The pandemic will play out over three phases, each one like the stages of grief.
- Beyoncé donates $6 million to mental health relief amid coronavirus pandemic
Beyoncé pledged $6 million to mental health charities and other initiatives for continued outreach efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
- A 'grief tsunami' is headed towards the US as the coronavirus death toll grows
Sociology researchers are warning of an impending "grief tsunami" that will overtake the country as an unprecedented number of Americans experience the death of a parent or grandparent due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- 'I wasn't able to say goodbye': How coronavirus is impacting grief with funerals
(Yorkshire Evening Post)
This lack of "personal contact", both with the lost loved one and with relatives, will compound the grief "ten-fold", according to a bereavement counsellors, who anticipates calls to their service will increase greatly over the coming months.
- The key to good mental health in quarantine is in the food you eat
To build defenses against the many stressors that have come with the new reality of the novel coronavirus, mental health experts agree that it’s important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
- Why COVID-19 can be ‘toxic’ for people in alcohol recovery
For millions of people in recovery or looking for help for alcohol use, in-person group meetings can be a source of relief. But social distancing measures that were put in place to help curb the coronavirus have disrupted the support networks people rely upon for help.
- 'Bereavement after bereavement': UK nursing home staff mourn
The coronavirus pandemic is taking a huge emotional and physical toll on staff in Britain’s nursing homes, who often feel like they're toiling on a forgotten front line.
- Air Force: Despite COVID-19, pilot cancer study on schedule
(McClatchy DC - Impact 2020)
The Air Force has finalized the terms of a groundbreaking study sought by former fighter pilots to determine whether military aviators are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer.
- Army announces summer troop moves to Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan
(Stars and Stripes)
The Army is moving forward with plans for summer troop rotations to Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan even as the military grapples with the disruptive effects of the global coronavirus pandemic, the service announced Thursday.
- The first known US soldier to get COVID-19 tells his story
(Task and Purpose)
There are a lot of 23-year-old soldiers serving with the U.S. Army in South Korea. But somehow, when the Army announced that one of them was the first known service member to test positive for COVID-19, Spc. De’ontae Chappel’s mother knew it was him.
- US Navy tests everyone on coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier
The US Navy has finished testing the entire crew of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, the service announced Thursday. Since the outbreak began a month ago, 840 sailors assigned to the carrier have tested positive for the virus.
- COVID-19 Outbreak Forces Destroyer Kidd to Return to Port, Offload Crew
The novel coronavirus has spread aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer Kidd at sea in the Caribbean, forcing the medevac of one crew member and infecting at least 16 others, the Navy said Friday.
- USNS Mercy Staff Staying Off Ship to Stop Spread of Coronavirus
To stop any further advance of COVID-19 among staff, commanding officers have moved almost all of the hospital personnel off the ship to create more social distancing among his crew.
- Navy’s Expeditionary Medical Teams Provide COVID-19 Support in New Orl
(We Are The Mighty)
Navy medical personnel assigned to Expeditionary Medical Facility-M (EMF-M) have deployed as part of a U.S. Northern Command-led COVID-19 response to support civil health authorities in existing facilities in New Orleans and Dallas.
- Coronavirus pandemic leads to spike in disinformation directed at US, NATO in Europe
(Stars and Stripes)
Disinformation aimed at undermining the U.S. and NATO forces has surged in Europe as adversaries seize on the coronavirus pandemic in their attempts to create instability, Lithuania’s Defense Ministry said in a new report.
- Officials probe the threat of a coronavirus bioweapon
Defense and intelligence officials are throwing more resources at the possibility that adversaries will deploy the virus against U.S. targets.
- Soldiers use their own cash to get better food in quarantine
Some soldiers in quarantine are opting to order delivery from nearby restaurants rather than eat the rations provided to them from government stockpiles.
- VA Needs to Do More to Protect Medical Staff, Former Secretary Says
Former Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin has high praise for VA employees caring for veterans and supporting the department's public health mission during the novel coronavirus pandemic. But he said VA leaders must act more aggressively to protect workers from exposure to the relentless virus.
- Veterans Affairs records 400th death from coronavirus
The Department of Veterans Affairs reached another grim milestone Friday with the 400th death of a patient from the fast-spreading coronavirus, all coming in the last 40 days.
- How VA mobile apps protect your private information
VA-developed apps use evidence-based content to improve Veterans’ health. They also expand access to care beyond the traditional office visit. Just as importantly, they are built with the highest security standards to keep your information safe.
- A 100-year-old WWII veteran died of COVID-19 100 years after his twin died in flu pandemic
A 100-year-old World War II veteran who died from COVID-19 lost a twin brother to the 1918 pandemic a century earlier.
- Bugler steps up to fill gap at graveside services of veterans amid pandemic
A bugler is working with McAfee Funeral Home to play “Taps” at veterans’ graveside ceremonies since Honor Guards can’t attend due to social distancing.
- Coronavirus outbreak at Long Island veterans home kills 46 vets
The coronavirus has swept through the Long Island State Veterans Home, killing 46 vets and sickening 51 others, according to a report Friday.
- Tampa veterans hospital participates in COVID-19 plasma study
(Tampa Bay Times)
Those who recovered from the virus and meet specific criteria can donate plasma to treat veteran patients.
Military Family News
- Into the unknown: Military families struggle with Family Care Plans
As the COVID-19 pandemic upends everyday life, military families are confronted with a jarring new complexity: their support network has significantly unraveled.
- Military families' lives stabilizing during coronavirus, but more challenges ahead
(Federal News Network)
Some of the initial financial impacts of COVID-19 on military families are beginning to straighten out, but as the coronavirus crisis drags on and the Pentagon extends its travel and moving ban to June 30, new, longer-term issues may arise.
- Bingo with Dr. B
(Military Family Advisory Network)
Dr. Jill Biden helps celebrate military kids by guest-hosting a game of Family Bingo on Monday, April 27th. Registration is required.
Across the TAPS Family
- Move to the Beat: The Power of Dance
Getting up to dance is one way to introduce joy into a day, whether that is by yourself, with your family, or at the recommended social distance with your neighbors during an organized dance party. TAPS relies on partners like Home Base to expand our continuum of care by providing best practice clinical care in addition to TAPS peer based grief support.
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Upcoming Events
The latest 2020 schedule of events across the TAPS Family.
- Team TAPS partners with Carry the Load for annual relay honoring heroes
This memorial month of May Team TAPS joins our partner Carry The Load for their 9th Annual Memorial May campaign honoring our nation’s heroes: military, veterans, first responders.
- Enjoy the TAPS Talks series on demand
In response to the need to reduce sense of isolation the new TAPS Talks series bring comfort and connections to those feeling the stressful impacts of social distancing.
- TAPS Magazine - Spring 2020 Edition
TAPS Magazine is published quarterly for the loved ones of those who served in our nation’s armed forces and died.
Other Coronavirus News
- US Coronavirus Death Toll Passes 50,000 : Coronavirus Live Updates
The official number of people in the United States killed by COVID-19 has reached 50,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. death and confirmed cases totals are far higher than any other country's.
- Trump signs $484 billion measure to aid employers, hospitals
President Donald Trump signed a $484 billion bill Friday to aid employers and hospitals under stress from the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 50,000 Americans and devastated broad swaths of the economy.
- More students are now considering college gap year because of COVID-19
Students face more uncertainty than clarity as National Decision Day approaches on May 1.
- IRS says it issued $158 billion in coronavirus payments through April 17
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said Friday that it issued about 88 million coronavirus relief payments to households through April 17, with the payments totaling almost $158 billion.
- Meet The Security Chief Making A Cowboy Museum's Social Media Feeds Extra Delightful
Work has changed for almost everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents have become teachers, partners have become hair stylists and at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, a security guard has learned to leave his post — to post.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.