The TAPS Daily - August 26, 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.
- Coast Guard ready to respond, urges safety preparations ahead of Hurricane Laura
(United States Coast Guard)
The Coast Guard is pre-staging response assets and urging safety precautions in the Gulf Coast region due to Hurricane Laura.
- Veterans Affairs has now reported more than 50,000 coronavirus cases
The Department of Veterans Affairs on Tuesday surpassed 50,000 coronavirus cases among its patients since the start of the pandemic in March, with more than half of those positive tests coming in the last 50 days alone.
- Vehicle collision with Russians injures 4 U.S. troops in Syria
In the most violent skirmish in months between U.S. and Russian forces in Syria, a vehicle collision in the eastern part of the war-torn country left American troops with concussions, two U.S. officials said Wednesday.
- Their Sons Died in Accidents at Fort Hood. Now, They're Joining Forces to Call for Change
Parents of service members who died recently in military vehicle accidents are joining together to call for changes to safety procedures during training to prevent future deadly accidents.
- Federal judge rules DoD’s policy unlawfully slows immigrant troops’ path to citizenship
A federal judge Tuesday struck down a Defense Department requirement that service members serve for six months or a year before being eligible for an expedited path to citizenship.
- A Navy SEAL’s tips for surviving a hurricane
As Category 4 Hurricane Laura barrels full-steam towards the Gulf Coast, residents are preparing to be battered by the system, which is expected to bring 140 mile-per-hour winds and an “unsurvivable” 20-foot surge of flooding Wednesday night.
- Marines who appeared in Trump RNC video did not violate DoD policy, Corps says
(Task & Purpose)
Two Marines who opened doors for President Donald Trump during an event that was featured during the Republican National Convention were just doing their jobs, the Corps said in a statement.
- ‘Restore LAW and ORDER!’: Trump to send federal law enforcement, National Guard to Kenosha
President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he is sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, Wisconsin amid deadly and violent protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
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
- Secretary Wilkie honors President Lincoln’s 2nd inaugural address giving VA its mission & motto
(US Department of Veterans Affairs)
Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie dedicated a permanent memorial at the Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, on Wednesday, celebrating President Lincoln’s second inaugural address which gave VA its mission and motto.
- Brother of Army officer who testified against Trump alleges widespread abuse, retaliation at National Security Council
Democratic lawmakers are asking for a full investigation into claims of retaliation and unethical behavior towards the Army lieutenant colonel who testified in impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump last summer and his brother, a fellow soldier.
- Toxic-exposure conference Friday to bring big names to call for VA reform
(Stars and Stripes)
A virtual conference will advocate for better health care benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits during their military service.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- Mental health resilience tied to fewer COVID-19 worries
Resilience helps alleviate COVID-19-related worries as well as anxiety and depression, according to a study published online August 20 in Translational Psychiatry.
- Employees Three Times More Likely To Experience Poor Mental Health Now
Almost a fifth (18%) of employees believe their mental health is currently poor, or very poor, compared to just 5% before the coronavirus struck.
- Paul George opened up about his mental health struggles in the NBA bubble
George got real about his struggles with anxiety and depression inside the bubble. Paul George was a member of the 2016 USA Men’s Olympic Basketball Team which met with TAPS families at practice games across the U.S. and honored their fallen heroes by wearing their photo buttons in Rio.
- Your ‘Surge Capacity’ Is Depleted — It’s Why You Feel Awful
Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive systems — mental and physical — that humans draw on for short-term survival in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters.
- Puppy joins 185th Air Refueling Wing's care team
A four-legged friend is the newest member at the 185th Air Refueling Wing. Lincoln is an English Cream Golden Retriever puppy that is undergoing training to become a therapy dog, helping military members.
- Body believed to be that of a missing Fort Hood soldier has been found
A body believed to be that of a missing Fort Hood soldier has been found.. Officials are awaiting forensic confirmation but police said that identification found on the body indicates it is that of Sergeant Elder Fernandes.
- Military dogs get ‘real feel’ bite training with fake skin sleeves that bleed
Army scientists have designed a more realistic sleeve device that not only feels like flesh but can bleed like flesh, too. The added realism helps focus and polish the training for military dogs.
- A fire has hobbled one of the Coast Guard's only functioning icebreakers
(Task & Purpose)
The Coast Guard Cutter Healy suffered an August 18 fire off south-central Alaska that damaged a critical propulsion motor and forced the icebreaker to scuttle an Arctic mission and return to home port in Seattle. It is one of two functional icebreakers operated by the USCG.
- 'Star Trek' legend William Shatner calls on the Space Force to use Navy ranks
(Task & Purpose)
William Shatner, an actor perhaps best known for his unbelievable rendition of “Rocket Man," is calling for the Space Force to adopt Navy ranks in the grand tradition of science fiction.
- Army Guard Pilots Get Distinguished Flying Cross for Engaging Taliban at Close Range
Two North Carolina National Guard AH-64 Apache pilots received the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor last week for providing cover to Army special forces in a remote Afghanistan village in 2018.
- Navy Plans For Wartime Ship Surge; Looks To Small Commercial Yards
The U.S. would be hard-pressed to repair ships quickly enough during a war, a top admiral said today, underscoring similar concerns recently put forth by the Marine Corps in an internal document.
- The VA Is Now Offering Transition Services Specially Tailored for Female Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs is teaming up with the Department of Defense to offer Women's Health Transition Training (WHTT) for female service members who are transitioning to civilian life.
- VA partners with OnStar to improve access to suicide prevention services
(The Pagosa Springs Sun)
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced recently it is partnering with OnStar’s emergency services to improve access to suicide prevention resources for veterans.
- ‘Extremely frustrating’ mail delays for prescriptions hit veterans, rural areas
(The Progressive Pulse)
Veterans, people who require specialty medications, rural residents far from pharmacies and others who receive their prescription medications through the Postal Service say they have experienced delays and other delivery disruptions after the Trump administration made changes to post office operations.
- Higher Attrition among Veterans Linked to Job Dissatisfaction
Federal agencies have been increasing the percentage of veterans among those hired in recent years but veterans meanwhile leave at a higher rate than non-veterans, especially in the years just after being hired, GAO has said.
- Navy veteran and legendary actor Sean Connery turns 90. Here are his best military roles
(We Are The Mighty)
On August 25, 2020, the veteran actor celebrated his 90th birthday. What many people don't know about him is that before he played Commander James Bond, Connery was a sailor himself.
Military Family News
- 4 reasons military spouses need to vote
(We Are The Mighty)
Active duty military spouses, uniquely positioned between military service and civilian life, are arguably as important to the election process as their service member counterparts.
- Military spouses’ best financial advice
Military spouses from across the nation share tips about ways to empower other military families to take control of their finances.
- Facebook has launched a new Voting Information Center
Facebook has launched a one-stop shop voting information center for those seeking up-to-date information and official resources to help them prepare for the upcoming general election.
- New U.S. Virus cases fall as masks gain favor but testing lags
The number of Americans newly diagnosed with the coronavirus is falling — a development experts say most likely reflects more mask-wearing but also insufficient testing — even as the disease continues to claim nearly 1,000 lives in the U.S. each day.
- 2,000 Year Old Redwood Trees Survive Wildfire At California's Oldest State Park
When a massive wildfire swept through California's oldest state park last week it was feared many trees in a grove of old-growth redwoods, some of them 2,000 years old and among the tallest living things on Earth, may finally have succumbed.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.