The TAPS Daily - August 18, 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.
- Exclusive: U.S. Postmaster General to pause all operational reforms after outcry
The U.S. Postmaster General says he will suspend all operational reforms and initiatives until after the November presidential election.
- How the battle over the U.S. Postal Service is costing veterans dearly
(Task & Purpose)
80 percent of veterans get their VA prescriptions by mail and a growing chorus of them are sounding the alarm after experiencing significant postal service delays for needed medicines.
- FDA approves emergency use of Yale's COVID-19 saliva test used in NBA
A Yale developed COVID-19 test that "is simpler, less expensive, and less invasive,” is being called groundbreaking by the FDA and just received the agency’s emergency approval use.
- Coronavirus deaths among Veterans Affairs patients rising in August
COVID-19 deaths among Veterans Affairs patients have increased steadily in recent weeks, putting the department on track for its most monthly fatalities from the coronavirus.
- Teens struggle to balance school, family, work amid COVID-19
Educational disruptions forced by the pandemic are hurting teenagers at a time when many families also are struggling with layoffs and child care for young kids.
- Nine COVID-19 Myths That Just Won't Go Away
Coronavirus conspiracies abound online. Here’s the most persistent myths about COVID-19.
- Girl Scouts Announce A New Cookie for 2021
A new Girl Scout french toast-inspired cookie "dipped in delicious icing and full of flavor in every bite" will be coming to a waistline near you in 2021.
- Trump offers pardon to Susan B. Anthony
President Trump said Tuesday he would grant a full pardon posthumously to Susan B. Anthony, the famed suffragette who played a critical role in securing the right to vote for women.
TAPS In the News
- We're All in This Together - COVID-19 Resources for American Public
Resources and support to help anyone facing the impacts of COVID-19.
- TAPS News Archive
Catch up on all the TAPS news stories over the years on the TAPS media resource page.
Government Relations / Benefits
- Senate Republicans to introduce smaller COVID package that includes billions for Postal Service
Senate Republicans are planning to introduce a “skinny” coronavirus relief bill, amid an impasse in negotiations between the White House and top Democratic leaders.
- SecDef denies plans to cut military health by $2.2B, Trump says otherwise
After recent contradicting statements from the president and secretary of defense, it remains unclear what, if any, cuts might be coming to the military healthcare system.
- Anonymity Could Help Mitigate Military Suicide
TAPS friend, Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families, shares recent strides made in federal legislation to mitigate veteran suicide and what may still need to be addressed.
- Senators Call to Close Guantanamo Bay Prison Over COVID-19
11 Senators sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense in May asking for information on Gitmo’s ability to provide medical care to detainees impacted by COVID-19 and protect personnel.
- Support for Veterans Facing Homelessness
To improve veterans’ mental health and relieve housing instability, VHA has developed a guidebook to provide veterans facing homelessness information on local resources and options.
- OnStar and VA now working together to help prevent veteran suicide
A new partnership now makes it possible for anyone to quickly connect to the Veterans Crisis Line by using the On-Star emergency button in vehicles or with the OnStar app.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- Postvention — VA offers support after suicide loss
The VA is using a suicide postvention model similar to TAPS to support anyone who has been touched by suicide loss regardless of their military, veteran or military family status.
- You're feeling all the feelings. Here is how to feel them.
Feeling out of control and a sense of loss have become universal. Processing these emotions can be daunting but pushing them aside can lead to more trouble down the line.
- The decline of our mental health during this pandemic
There is a large body of scientific evidence on the ill effects of enforced loneliness. While symptoms may be less obvious than those from a virus the harm is nonetheless very real.
- LGBTQ youth say cost, parent consent pose barriers to mental health care
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the mental health crisis among LGBTQ youth, but it has also yielded lessons that may surmount barriers they often encounter trying to access care.
- The Healing Library helps families deal with loss
Find downloadable resources for coping with grief on The Healing Library's website.
- Iran denies Taliban were paid bounties to target U.S. troops in Afghanistan
Iran responded to growing media reports claiming they offered bounties to Taliban fighters for targeting American and coalition troops in Afghanistan.
- Moving company accused of selling Air Force sergeant’s items while he was deployed overseas
(Stars & Stripes)
A moving company is accused of auctioning off items of a U.S. Air Force sergeant, including gear that belonged to his cousin who was killed in action, while he was deployed overseas.
- Air Force's Secret X-37B Space Plane Just Scored a Big Win
The Air Force's secret space plane just boosted its public profile, taking home the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy for advancing "the boundaries of flight and space exploration."
- The Rise of Female Commanders in Combat Arms
Women are taking command of units that have been exclusively male for centuries.
- South Dakota Guardsmen honor Civil War dead by cleaning tombstones
National Guard soldiers brushed away years of dirt on tombstones of those who died in the Civil War and gained an appreciation for the broader task of honoring all who served this country.
- Massachusetts takes steps to renovate, upgrade virus-ravaged veterans' home
(Stars & Stripes)
Massachusetts has taken another step toward an expedited renovation project at a veterans' care center where one of the nation's deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks occurred.
- New Best for Vets: Employers rankings for 2020
Military Times unveiled this year’s rankings of companies with expanded support to recruit veterans into civilian jobs. Eight of TAPS top sponsors are among the “Best for Vets” list.
- White House Chef Andre Rush Inspires The Armed Forces To Be Mentally Unbreakable
A White House chef stays dedicated to fitness and supporting his fellow veterans.
Military Family News
- 'Jack loved being a Marine': Parents of Marine killed in AAV accident remember their son
(Marine Corps Times)
When Jack Ostrovsky decided to join the Marine Corps it was no surprise to his parents.
- Respite care program launches for caregivers of military veterans in CA, FL, TX
(San Diego Union-Tribune)
Military caregivers affected by COVID-19 can receive free, short-term respite care through the Elizabeth Dole Foundation thanks to a $1 million corporate donation.
- Liverpool, site of last surrender in U.S. Civil War, grapples with its Confederate links
As the US grapples with its controversial Confederate memorials, across the Atlantic a UK city better known for its place in music history than Civil War history is facing the same conundrum.
- Female sports photographer explains what it really means to 'play like a girl'
(Good Morning America)
Own your strength. Celebrate it. That is exactly what playing like a girl means.
- Teacher Transforms Desks Into Socially-Distanced Trucks
A kindergarten teacher in Texas went above and beyond to make her classroom a fun and safe environment for her students amidst social distance guidelines.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.