The TAPS Daily - April 28, 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.
- National Response to COVID-19
As a national convener, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance)—the nation’s public-private partnership—is mobilizing diverse sectors to collectively lead a coordinated mental health and suicide prevention response effort during and in the aftermath of COVID-19. TAPS is on the Executive Committee for the Action Alliance.
- Military closing the gap between new COVID-19 cases and recoveries
With 52 service members testing positive for coronavirus on Monday, a 0.8-percent rise, the Defense Department saw one of its lowest day-over-day increases since February, and an almost equal number of recoveries, with 45 troops cleared of COVID-19 on the same day.
- NY National Guard Soldier beats COVID-19 and joins the fight
New York Army National Guard Warrant Officer Christopher Gallant has seen both sides of the fight against COVID-19. After surviving the disease, Gallant is back on duty at the Javits New York Medical Station, where more than 1,090 coronavirus patients have been treated.
- Coping like it's 1861: America finds comfort in tradition amid coronavirus crisis
Journals, reading, walking dates, bread-baking. This return to olden times feels golden.
- Good News, Runners: You Can Still Compete in the Marine Corps Historic Half-Marathon Virtually
The Marine Corps Marathon Organization has refashioned its Marine Corps Historic Half so that runners can participate virtually. Even though the original in-person May 17 event in Fredericksburg has been cancelled, as well as the five-mile Semper 5ive and 18.1-mile Devil Dog Double races, runners can still complete the races on their own.
- NFL raised more than $100 million during draft for coronavirus relief
The NFL raised more than $100 million during its draft for coronavirus relief.
TAPS In the News
- 'Unfinished' funerals: Veteran ceremonies postponed in pandemic
Funeral Homes, Cemeteries Are Working Within State Orders To Social Distance And Limit Gatherings To Give Proper Send-offs. Melinda Kane, a Gold Star Mother, works closely with TAPS.
- Advocacy group wants survivor benefits for all military families who lose a service member to coronavirus
(Stars and Stripes)
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a nonprofit and advocacy group for families of fallen service members, is looking to get the remainder of National Guard troops on federal status and to backdate it to help families of fallen receive federal benefits, such as monthly survivor compensation, education benefits or a death gratuity.
- NFL celebrates the life of Reco Peevy during 2020 Draft
The NFL Draft is a celebration for prospects achieving their dreams and fans excited for the future of their organization, but prior to the Las Vegas Raiders' No. 80 overall pick, the NFL dedicated a special moment to one TAPS family.
- Iowa mom makes facemasks to cope with loss of son in Afghanistan war
(Des Moines Register)
TAPS Family in Iowa shares how grief at loss of their own fallen hero was motivation to help others during coronavirus pandemic.
- 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.
Government Relations / Benefits
- House Democrats' bill would waive prescription copays for military personnel, families
Democratic Reps. Elaine Luria (Va.) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (Del.) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would waive prescription copays for military personnel and their families amid the coronavirus pandemic. TAPS is working to support this legislation which will positively impact many survivors.
- IRS stimulus payments status check; agency says enhancements made to 'Get My Payment' tool
(FOX 5 DC)
The Internal Revenue Service says it has made significant enhancements to the "Get My Payment" tool designed to help Americans eligible to receive Economic Impact Payments. The agency says they hope the enhancements "deliver an improved and smoother experience."
- IRS sets new May 5 deadline to get info from veterans who missed coronavirus checks
Treasury officials have set a new May 5 deadline for veterans with dependents who missed out on coronavirus stimulus checks earlier this month, warning that some of the money could be delayed until spring 2021 if they don’t act soon.
- What to do if you think your coronavirus stimulus check deposit is the wrong amount
If you believe the amount of your stimulus check is incorrect, here's what to know about fixing it.
- Will Tricare Pay for a COVID-19 Antibody Test? It Depends
What do you do if you think you have been infected with coronavirus? And which tests does Tricare cover? Here are the rules.
- Army Rolls Out New App to Improve PCS Move Experience in COVID-19 Era
The Army released today “Army PCS Move” -- a mobile knowledge-based app designed to enhance the relocation experience for Soldiers, Families, and Department of the Army Civilians.
- Can I Get a PCS Claim Extension?
Like many parts of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves, the little details are governed by your specific military service. That's true with PCS claims, as well.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- Sirens, Deaths and Grief Fray the Mental Health of Virus Doctors
A legion of health-care workers trying to save people in a pandemic unprecedented in our lifetimes -- and the consequences for those workers may be unprecedented as well.
- Parenting Skills for Wounded Veterans and Their Families
In honor of the Month of the Military Child, PsychArmor is highlighting their "Parenting Skills for Wounded Veterans" portfolio. Browse through the selection to learn how to initiate conversations with children about injury communication.
- Marine Corps Hit Hardest in 2018 Military Suicide Spike, New Report Shows
A Pentagon report that details U.S. military suicides and suicide attempts in 2018 showed a 13% increase in the suicide rate for active-duty personnel compared with the previous year, with the Marine Corps suffering the highest rate of loss, followed by the Army.
- Can community engagement prevent Veteran suicides?
VA health team identifying the community engagement needs and preferences of Veterans who have been hospitalized and evaluated for psychiatric conditions.
- National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
Working with more than 250 national partners, the Action Alliance is implementing efforts aimed at reducing the annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025. TAPS is on the Executive Committee for the Action Alliance.
- Widowed author, made famous in 'Modern Love,' relates grief to quarantine
“It feels like an unbearable amount of time, but I think any of us who have been through significant loss have this perspective of time. I just want people to be confident that we will, indeed, get through it.”
- Children's grief in coronavirus quarantine may look like anger. Here's how parents can respond
COVID-19 has taken the world by storm and profoundly changed the lives of children and families.
- Mourning the life we used to have: What stage of grief are you in?
(FOX 31 Denver)
Many of us are realizing that even with the loosening of restrictions, our lives are not going to be the same.
- What day is it: There's a good reason why you have trouble remembering
“What day is it, again?" It's become a common refrain during the coronavirus pandemic, a reflection of both how all of the days seem to blur together and how lately, we find ourselves forgetting even the simplest of details.
- The National Security Implications of COVID-19
COVID-19 is simply one battle in a longer and larger war that humankind has waged with coronaviruses for generations. This pandemic, however, has underscored the national security implications of such outbreaks.
- Senators blast Esper's 'dysfunctional decision-making' on coronavirus
A group of 10 Democratic senators have issued a new letter blasting Defense Secretary Mark Esper for “dysfunctional decision-making” in how the Pentagon has tackled the coronavirus pandemic.
- Dover Air Force Base Coronavirus Response
(Connecting Vets Radio)
Personnel assigned to Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, are used to unique conditions that can arise when caring for fallen service members and their families. While a large portion of the nation is practicing physical distancing and staying home, the mortuary mission doesn’t stop and AFMAO members must adapt more than ever.
- Latest National Guard COVID-19 update: 44,500 troops mobilized with 83 percent on Title 32 orders
There are more 44,500 Air and Army National Guard professionals supporting the COVID-19 crisis response at the direction of their governors as of Monday afternoon. That’s an increase of about 800 from Friday.
- What Are The Pentagon Travel Restrictions?
Many of us are monitoring leisure and business travel restrictions. But, we can look at the Pentagon travel restrictions to predict when civilian travel can resume. Let's see what the non-military world can anticipate as we make our summer travel plans.
- About 50,000 service members in Japan ordered to maintain logs of personal interactions amid pandemic
(Stars and Stripes)
As America fights to defeat the novel coronavirus, U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and DoD civilians are honoring their oaths here at home in extraordinary ways and saving countless lives in the process.
- USS Roosevelt has nearly 1,000 virus cases after Navy reassesses how it determines who’s still sick
(Stars and Stripes)
Nearly 1,000 sailors assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt are still fighting the coronavirus after the Navy reassessed how it determines whether someone has recovered from the virus.
- The 1918 flu and the U.S. military
How the U.S. military was battered by, and slowly learned from, the influenza pandemic of 1918.
- Conspiracies falsely accuse an Army reservist of being 'patient zero' of coronavirus pandemic
An Army reservist recently found herself at the center of the coronavirus conspiracy mill after she participated in the 2019 Military World Games in Wuhan, China, last fall.
- Studies tackle who joins the military and why, but their findings aren't what many assume
Ever since the U.S. military became an all-volunteer force, a preconception has existed among many Americans that those who choose to join the armed services do so because they have no other options.
- VA to study cancers in troops who served at toxic Uzbek base
The Department of Veterans Affairs has notified Congress that it will study the health impact of toxic exposure on service members who served at a contaminated base in Uzbekistan after the 9/11 attacks, a key oversight subcommittee announced Monday.
- As Unemployment Surges, Department of Veterans Affairs Goes on Hiring Spree
Backed by a record $240 billion budget, the Department of Veterans Affairs has gone on a hiring spree to fill long-vacant spots as it battles coronavirus, pulling from the ranks of the retired and those furloughed or laid off by other health care systems.
- 'It's Been A Nightmare': Student Veterans Face Unique Challenges With Online College Classes
A recent survey from Student Veterans of America found about 90 percent of respondents said they're concerned COVID-19 will affect their education goals.
- VA dismisses concerns about Oregon facility's coronavirus dance party, cases rise to over 7,000
Veterans Affairs officials dismissed concerns about a recent coronavirus dance party among leadership at an Oregon medical center even as the number of cases among patients and staff in the health care system continues to climb.
- Voice for Veterans Veteran makes miraculous coronavirus recovery Eddie Kadhim
(WMAR ABC Baltimore)
For weeks an American hero has been in the fight of his life against coronavirus. On Monday night, Navy Veteran Jamal Thomas was ecstatic that it should be the last night he sleeps in a hospital bed.
- Telehealth services for veterans
Another way for veterans to access care and help eliminate the need for patients to travel to a facility is telehealth. Chief Officer for VA's Office with the Connected Care Dr. Neil Evans talks about about how these technologies are changing the way veterans get healthcare.
Military Family News
- Military & Family Life Counselors and Military Kids Reunite on Zoom
In the midst of a new season of challenges for everyone, MFLCs are meeting with students online.
- 4 reasons military brats are superior human beings
(We Are The Mighty)
Military kids somehow manage to navigate life much better than most adults.
Across the TAPS Family
- Martin Dempsey talks leadership
TAPS Board Member, Martin Dempsey, discusses politics and leadership during a pandemic, why the U.S. didn’t do more in Syria sooner, and his new book coming out called “No Time For Spectators: The Lessons That Mattered Most From West Point To The West Wing.”
- How to reframe the difficult coronavirus lockdown period as 'one of the greatest opportunities of our lives'
TAPS Advisory Board member, Dr. Alan Wolfelt, provides insight on making the most of quarantine. “Now that the routines of our daily lives have been disrupted many of us are finding ourselves with more time for mindful presence. Instead of doing, doing, doing, we can simply be.”
- Cigna, New York Life create fund for grieving families
(Health Care Finance News)
TAPS supporter, New York Life Foundation, is among those to establish a fund for families of health workers killed by COVID-19.
- teams4taps hosts Facebook Live with NASCAR driver Spencer Boyd on April 29
TAPS Huddle on Wednesday, April 29 with Spencer Boyd, driver of the #20 Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado in NASCAR’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
- Building Connections in Grief with your Children
Join us for TAPS Talk on Thursday, April 30 as we explore ways to create family grief connections at home. We will discuss how to create a safe space for grief conversations with kids and teens . The goal is to increase our comfort as we find opportunities and tools to talk to kids about change, loss and grief.
Other Coronavirus News
- People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness
Older adults and those with existing medical conditions are at higher risk with COVID-19. Conditions include heart or lung disease, diabetes, obesity, kidney and liver disease, smoking and immune deficiencies. Learn what to do if you are at higher risk.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.