The TAPS Daily - August 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.
- National Guard and U.S. Military Helping to Fight California Fires
The National Guard and U.S. military have sent assistance to the site of massive fires in Northern California that have burned hundreds of homes and spurred the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents.
- Missing Fort Hood soldier a victim of 'abusive sexual contact,' Army says
Sgt. Elder Fernandes, 23, a Fort Hood soldier who has been missing for five days, was recently transferred to a different unit because he was the victim of "abusive sexual contact," U.S. Army officials said Saturday.
- USAA donates $30 million to support military families, veterans during COVID-19
USAA announced it's donating $30 million to benefit 24 organizations assisting military families during COVID-19. USAA is a supporter of TAPS.
- These states require travelers to self-quarantine or present negative COVID-19 test
As states have opened back up, some are now tightening restrictions, and travelers may not be free to come and go as they please amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Gov. Abbott declares State of Disaster for 23 Texas counties, mobilizes National Guard
On Monday, Governor Abbott said more than 70 members of the Texas Army, Air National Guards, and Texas State Guard with the Texas Military Department (TMD) have been activated and are prepositioning throughout Texas.
- Several NFL Teams Halt Workouts After COVID-19 Testing Irregularity
Multiple NFL teams are altering or canceling their football activities on Sunday after results from Saturday's COVID-19 testing from a laboratory in New Jersey returned positive results. TAPS is a Salute to Service partner of the NFL.
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 Facebook Live Sports & Entertainment Series
TAPS Sports & Entertainment program has been hosting Facebook Live chats during the pandemic with some of our top celebrity supporters. Check out the full line up on demand here.
- TAPS News Archive
Catch up on all the TAPS news stories over the years on the TAPS media resource page.
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Upcoming Events
Check out the growing list of available events in 2020 hosted by TAPS.
Government Relations / Benefits
- COVID-19, Mental Health, and the 2020 Election: A Review of Candidate Platforms
(Kaiser Health Network)
The 2020 presidential election could have a substantial effect on the United States’ response to growing mental health needs and long-term policy for addressing this public health challenge.
- Family says USPS lost an Army veteran’s remains for nearly two weeks
(Task and Purpose)
A Suffield woman joined U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal Friday to call for an end to cutbacks and changes at the postal service that led to her veteran’s brothers remains disappearing in the mail for 12 days this month.
- When retirement is more valuable than disability compensation
Federal workers collecting disability benefits under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act have the choice to change their benefits once they reach retirement age, but the value of that change depends on how long their federal career was, according to a report publicly issued August 21 by the Government Accountability Office.
- Trump’s second-term plan includes stopping ‘endless’ wars, boosting military support
President Donald Trump released a 50-point second-term agenda on Sunday which vows to maintain American military might and “wipe out” terrorist groups overseas but also to stop the country’s involvement in “endless wars.”
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- Young Adults’ Pandemic Mental Health Risks
(The New York Times)
In a new CDC. survey, 18- to 24-year-olds reported the highest levels of symptoms of anxiety and depression, and a quarter of them said they had seriously considered suicide.
- Are We Really Witnessing a “Mental Health Pandemic?”
The term, “mental health pandemic” is not really helpful or accurate. But that observation does not negate the distress and loneliness of so many who are enduring the COVID-19 pandemic, nor should it diminish our efforts at comforting and supporting them.
- "Americans say they are thankful for "Little joys" more than ever these days."
72% of Americans in a new poll said that they are more likely to find “little joys” during the summertime—and that’s especially true this year.
- Pandemic mental health crisis ‘needs tackling swiftly’
Swift action to address the mental health crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic has been urged, after official figures revealed almost one in five adults were likely to be experiencing some form of depression.
- CDC Report Finds that 1 in 4 Young Adults Considered Suicide Due to Coronavirus Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a serious toll on the mental health struggles of Americans, particularly young adults.
- Mental Health Concerns Rising Amid Pandemic
(Thoroughbred Daily News)
The onset of mental health concerns as a result of the pandemic has come on later than anticipated by experts.
- Mishandling of misconduct reports, retaliation a pattern across the National Guard
Over the previous year, the reserve organization had been plagued by headlines detailing accusations of misconduct, sexual and otherwise, and searing allegations that the leadership in multiple states have been covering them up and retaliating against those who sought to bring them to light.
- Military COVID-19 Rates Are Public in Guam, Japan And Korea. Why Not In Hawaii?
(Honolulu Civil Beat)
Commanders initially released COVID-19 case numbers on Hawaii bases until the Pentagon ordered them to stop. The state Department of Health has agreed to keep numbers secret, too.
- No dancing allowed for U.S. service members based in Italy amid countrywide health ban
(Stars and Stripes)
U.S. military bases in Italy ordered service members to comply with a ban on dancing in public after the country instituted the restriction following a spike in confirmed coronavirus cases.
- AI algorithm defeats human fighter pilot in simulated dogfight
An artificial intelligence algorithm has defeated a human F-16 fighter pilot in a virtual dogfight simulation.
- IG: Air Guard intel planes surveilled seven George Floyd protests without proper authorization
(Air Force Times)
The Air Force’s Office of Inspector General faulted the Air National Guard for how it conducted seven RC-26B reconnaissance flights over public demonstrations following the death of George Floyd in early June.
- Marine Corps holds memorial service for service members killed in AAV accident
On Friday Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit along with the families of nine service members killed July 30 in an amphibious assault vehicle accident gathered at Camp Pendleton, California, for a memorial service.
- Immigrant Marine Corps veteran works to return deported former service members
While most undocumented immigrants might fear being deported, one USMC veteran is actively coordinating with elected officials to help deported veterans return. His efforts were featured in the recent Netflix documentary series “Immigration Nation.”
- Postmaster pledges veterans’ prescriptions won’t be hurt by mail service changes
The head of the United States Postal Service on Friday acknowledged “dips” in service in recent months but denied any large-scale failures or deliberate mail slowdowns were to blame for problems with veterans prescription deliveries or other postal operations.
- Some Veterans Need to Fill Out This Form ASAP to Get Their Stimulus Payment
If you receive Department of Veterans Affairs disability or pension payments and didn't file taxes for the last two years, you may want to hurry over to the IRS website and fill out a form to get your stimulus payment.
Military Family News
- New ID Cards Being Issued for Military Family Members, Retirees
The Defense Department began issuing Next Generation Uniformed Services Identification Cards on July 31, 2020, the first time since 1993 that changes to the card have been made.
- Ready to Upgrade your DIY Skills? Here Are 3 Live Workshops to Help
Have your quarantine projects run their course? If you're looking for some inspiration on what to do next with all your spare time, the USO and Lowe's have you covered.
- It's Peak Hurricane Season. You Should Have These Plans Ready
We're approaching the peak of a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season, and wildfires are raging in the West. But it's not too late to be prepared.
- How does coronavirus spread at a concert? Germans do a test
(Danville Register & Bee)
German researchers studying COVID-19 packed part of a Leipzig arena with volunteers, collecting data in a “real life” simulation of a pop concert with strict health and safety controls.
- Safe Kit CEO urges construction industry to keep up COVID-19 safety standards
(Cision PR Newswire)
Schools, sporting events and other social activities present increased risk for the spread of coronavirus. Precautions for preventing the spread of COVID-19 should remain an essential part of every jobsite and workplace, especially as schools, entertainment and sporting events, and other social activities return this fall.
- Their father's death spurred them to create 'Friday minute' -- 60 seconds each week to mourn those lost to COVID-19
The death of Hugh Freyer spurred his children to create 'the Friday minute' -- 60 seconds each week to mourn those we lost to COVID-19.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.