The TAPS Daily - August 27, 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.
- Here's how the military is responding to Hurricane Laura
Hurricane Laura hit the Gulf Coast with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, forcing the activation of National Guard troops in response and military installations in its path to react.
- Jeanette Epps Will Be the First Black Female Astronaut on the International Space Station
Astronaut Jeanette Epps is set to make history in 2021. NASA announced she will be on a six-month mission to the International Space Station — the first Black woman to do so.
- Senators Send Letter to SecDef on COVID-19 Failures
Nine senators are calling on the Secretary of Defense to "properly prioritize the health and well-being of our servicemembers" against COVID-19.
- CDC director walks back change in coronavirus testing guidelines
The CDC director issued a clarification of earlier guidance on coronavirus testing, days after a quiet change sparked protests from the scientific and medical communities.
- Racial Disparities In Death Rates Transcend The Pandemic
A century of statistics finds mortality rates, life expectancy were much worse for Black Americans during pre-pandemic years than for white people during the COVID-19 crisis.
- COVID-19 survivors: Anna Del Priore, 107, recovered from Spanish flu and coronavirus
Over 100 years ago, Anna Del Priore had the Spanish flu as a child. Now, the 107-year-old has recovered from COVID-19, and she's gearing up for another big birthday next month.
- Air Force on Track to Match Record 2019 Suicide Rates, Top Officer Says
Air Force leaders continue to be troubled by rising suicide rates and some fear that the coronavirus pandemic may worsen the problem, the service's top general said Wednesday.
- Arson suspected in Bonhomme Richard fire, defense official says
Arson is suspected as the cause of a July 12 fire that left extensive damage to the USS Bonhomme Richard and a U.S. Navy sailor was being questioned as a potential suspect.
- Coast Guard watchman shoots at shark to protect crew in water
Being at sea for weeks, the crew aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball was enjoying a swim in waters “a zillion miles from land” when the radio from the bridge announced “Shark!”
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 VA committee gets an ‘F’ in oversight
The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has been underperforming in its oversight duties, according to an independent grading of congressional oversight.
- VA Secretary redoubles support of disputed motto with new signs for national cemeteries
The Department of Veterans Affairs motto is a quote from President Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address 155 years ago. But in recent years, some have called it exclusionary.
- For 1st Time in 3 Decades, Military Families and Retirees Are Getting Revamped IDs
The military is ditching flimsy laminated paper-based ID cards for military retirees and dependents for the Next Generation Uniform Services Identification Card.
- A Sailor is Suing DoD on Behalf of Her 3 Babies Who Died
A federal judge has ruled a lawsuit against Portsmouth Naval Medical Center can continue in an unusual case filed on behalf of three military dependents who died shortly after their birth.
- BP offering discounts to military, veterans, first responders, teachers, others during COVID-19
BP is offering a special discount on every fill-up at BP and Amoco stations for 60 days to help active military personnel, veterans, teachers, and students during COVID-19.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- COVID-19 survivors: While recovering some face mental health issues
While the physical symptoms are one aspect of having COVID-19, a recent study indicates that mental health conditions accompany the illness.
- Tips for More Restful Sleep During COVID-19, From a Sleep Expert
During these unprecedented times, many of us are struggling with getting enough, or restful, sleep. Read these tips from a sleep expert on how to achieve better sleep during COVID-19.
- Japan now offers remote grave visit and cleaning via Zoom for the Obon holidays
Mourners who can’t make it back to family graves for annual rituals due to coronavirus can have a live-stream or virtual-reality visit instead.
- Death during coronavirus creates a double ache because humans need to share our grief
Humans have a psychological need to share our grief collectively; we gain strength from the understanding and empathy of others to process loss. The coronavirus has shattered that.
- Louisiana, Texas National Guard prepare for Hurricane Laura
More than 3,000 members of the Louisiana National Guard and more than 1,000 Texas Guard troops were ready to provide support by land, water and air in wake of Hurricane Laura.
- Arkansas National Guard activated due to anticipated rainfall from Laura
Three National Guard teams from Arkansas are on active duty to help deal with the remnants of Hurricane Laura as of midday Thursday, August 27.
- Wisconsin governor doubles number of Guard troops authorized for Kenosha unrest
In the wake of riot shooting deaths, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers authorized the sending of 500 members of the National Guard to Kenosha, doubling the number of troops already present.
- National Guard helps fight California wildfires
Hundreds of members of the National Guard from multiple states are supporting state and local efforts to fight the wildfires raging in California.
- National Guard activated in Minneapolis after homicide suspect's reported suicide
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) activated the National Guard in Minneapolis after police said misinformation about a homicide suspect’s suicide sparked protests Wednesday night.
- Air Force Grants 1st Assignment Under New Co-Parenting Accommodation Policy
Less than 24 hours after the Air Force began accepting relocation applications from parents with joint custody of a child, the service granted its first such request.
- Hero soldier saves three people caught in their vehicles during a flash flood in Virginia
(Task & Purpose)
As Staff Sgt. Joshua Carter tells it, he was just in the right place at the right time when he helped save three people stranded on an underpass during a flash flood.
- Connecticut's last known Pearl Harbor survivor dies at 99
Floyd Welch, Connecticut's last known Pearl Harbor survivor, died at 99 on Monday.
- Tuskegee Airman James Cotten dies at 93
James A. Cotten, a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, died on Aug. 14. He was 93.
- DC, Marvel Artists Create Graphic Novel About the Only Female Medal of Honor Recipient
The latest graphic novel presented by the Association of the United States Army is all about Mary Walker, the U.S. military's first -- and only -- recipient of the Medal of Honor.
Military Family News
- Family: Soldier believed dead was happy until recently
An aunt of a deceased Fort Hood soldier says her nephew had been happy in the Army up until a few months ago when he reported being sexually assaulted by a superior.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.