The TAPS Daily - August 4, 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.
- Trump on U.S. coronavirus deaths: 'It is what it is'
President Donald Trump said despite rising deaths the outbreak is "under control," in a wide-ranging and contentious interview with Axios political correspondent Jonathan Swan.
- Trump extends National Guard virus mission through 2020 but cuts federal funds by quarter
President Donald Trump extended the federal deployment of the National Guard COVID-19 mission but cut funding to support it, ordering states instead to start paying the tab.
- VA coronavirus total tops 40,000, even as active cases decrease
The total number of cases among the veterans health system’s patients has grown by more than 10,000 in the last 19 days alone, as the virus outbreak has spiked in hot spots around America.
- U.S. Handling Pandemic Worse Than Other Countries, Say Two-Thirds Of Americans
With the COVID-19 death toll passing 150,000 mark, a poll found broad support for a single, national strategy to address the pandemic and more aggressive measures to contain it.
- Trump says U.S. will draw down to around 4,000 troops in Afghanistan by the November election
(Task & Purpose)
Despite continued violence in Afghanistan, President Donald Trump has said the U.S. military will draw down to between 4,000 and 5,000 troops in the country by November.
- Massive explosion shocks Beirut, casualties feared
Lebanon’s capital was rocked by a massive explosion with a damage radius stretched for miles.
- 105-Year-Old WWII Veteran Celebrates Milestone Birthday with Parade
A veteran believed to be the nation’s oldest living Marine just celebrated his 105th birthday!
- How To Politely Ask Someone to Follow COVID-19 Guidelines
COVID-19 Etiquette: Six common conundrums and a printable pocket guide
TAPS In the News
- A FAB-u-lous Friendship
Families’ Activity Breaks, or FAB, provides adventurous holiday experiences within a safe and nurturing environment, in order to encourage self-confidence, resilience and peer support.
- 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
- Plan Would Improve Testing and Treatment of Vets Exposed to Burn Pits, Other Toxins
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee will consider legislation that would provide testing and health services to veterans sickened by exposure to hazardous chemicals in combat or garrison.
- Voting assistance for Service members, their families and overseas citizens
The Federal Voting Assistance Program works to ensure military and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the resources to successfully do so - from anywhere in the world.
- Senators holding behind-the-scenes talks on breaking coronavirus package stalemate
Several GOP senators said on Tuesday that they are holding behind-the-scenes talks with rank-and-file Democrats about how to break the stalemate on a fifth coronavirus relief package.
- Census Bureau to halt counting operation a month earlier than expected
The Census Bureau announced data collection will end a month earlier than originally planned.
- VA To Expand Caregiver Stipends to Older Veterans This Fall
About 20,000 veterans who left military service after 9/11 qualify for a stipend to offset costs for a certified caregiver. The expansion could add up to another 41,000 families.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- The White House's New Suicide Prevention Plan For Veterans Addresses Access To Guns
The White House's new suicide prevention plan for veterans includes restricting access to guns. It's politically charged, but experts say it's the most obvious way to help. TAPS is a member of the PREVENTS task force addressing veteran suicide.
- How to handle the anxiety of returning to work in a pandemic
Return to work and risk COVID-19 illness or face financial calamities? This is the surreal choice many Americans are faced with as the CARES Act expires and businesses struggle to stay open.
- The Different Types of Disasters and Their Impacts on Behavioral Health
Living through a disaster can cause emotional distress like fanxiety, trouble sleeping, and more.
- How Sleep Can Affect Your Relationship, According to Science
Sleep is more paramount to your relationships than you think.
- Marine AAV Hit Rough Seas, Rapidly Took on Water Before Sinking
Three Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles hit rough seas on their way back from a training event with one filling too fast and eventually sinking, killing nine troops.
- Military helps worn-out nurses, sicker patients in California COVID-19 effort
Over the past two weeks, the U.S. Department of Defense has sent nearly 200 medics and logistics experts to the San Joaquin Valley area of California to assist COVID-19 efforts.
- Army Guard Begins to Reorganize Force into Eight Divisions
The Army National Guard will move most of its brigades under the command of its eight division headquarters as it reorganizes formations for more combat power and new career opportunities.
- Esper Praises Outgoing National Guard Chief, Welcomes Incoming Chief
Army Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson took over as the 29th National Guard Bureau chief during ceremonies yesterday, succeeding Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel.
- U.S. Army expanding space education programs at West Point
The U.S. Army wants more of its officers to specialize in space operations, science and technology and has started a new space-focused program at West Point.
- Navy SEALs Cut Ties with Museum Over Colin Kaepernick Video
The Navy SEALs will suspend its support of the National Navy SEAL Museum, a nonprofit organization, after controversial videos surfaced online.
- Rental scams targeting military personnel on the rise
Army Criminal Investigation Command is warning soldiers to be wary of housing rental scams.
- Second Fort Hood soldier dies at nearby lake
The Army released the identity of a Fort Hood soldier who died in a boating incident off post.
- Tyndall master sergeant dies in boating accident
(Air Force Times)
A master sergeant at Tyndall Air Force Base died in a boating accident over the weekend.
- Air Force officer cycling in Interior Alaska struck and killed by vehicle
(Anchorage Daily News)
A squadron commander cycling in Alaska was struck by a vehicle and killed.
- Disabled Iraq veteran faces five years in Alabama prison for legally prescribed medical marijuana
Purple Heart recipient, who helped clear roadside bombs during the Iraq War, is facing five years in one of America's most violent prison systems for legally prescribed medical marijuana.
- Gulf War veteran reflects on pivotal war that changed Army, the nation
In the Gulf War, the U.S. military shifted its focus from defeating the Soviet Union in Europe to what would become a 30-year battle for stability in the Middle East region.
- Army vet finds peace fostering pets, finding them homes
Fostering dogs has helped this veteran navigate daily life during a pandemic.
- Teen volunteers nearly 240 hours of her time at VA medical center
A teenager keeping those entering a VA Medical Center safe during COVID-19 pandemic.
- World War II Coast Guard veteran turns 100
(We Are The Mighty)
Despite serving his country proudly during the war, this 100-year old veteran was still looked at as less than due to the color of his skin when he returned.
- U.S. Air Force Veteran dies after COVID-19 outbreak at nursing facility
“COVID really did take something precious away. That was my father.”
Military Family News
- Moving during a pandemic is hard, even for people very good at it — such as military families
(Stars and Stripes)
Between the peak season of May 15 to June 12, the number of military moves was down 82 percent compared to the same period last year.
- More credits coming for millions of troops, veterans and families on auto insurance bills
USAA, a strong supporter of TAPS, has now committed to returning $1.07 billion in dividends this year to policyholders due to continued fewer drivers on the road during the pandemic.
- Hardworking UPS Driver Gets Wonderful Surprise Party From Grateful Community
This local UPS driver has always been an essential worker to his neighbors, but during the COVID-19 pandemic his work became even more critical to them. UPS is a TAPS partner.
- White House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings
(The Hill )
A major organization representing deaf Americans is among those suing the White House over the lack of a sign language interpreter at the administration's COVID-19 briefings.
- 3 Rescued from Pacific Island When SOS in Sand Spotted by Military Aircraft
The men had been missing in the Micronesia archipelago for nearly three days when their distress signal was spotted by searchers on Australian and U.S. aircraft.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.