The TAPS Daily - August 5, 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.
- Fourth service member COVID-19 death was a Virginia pastor
A fourth U.S. service member has died from COVID-19, the first coronavirus related death among active duty personnel since late May.
- Pandemic's effect on already rising suicide rates heightens worry
The nation’s suicide rate reached historic highs prior to COVID-19 and the impacts of ongoing pandemic have heightened risks, worrying experts, health officials and lawmakers.
- Trump spares only Texas and Florida in cutting funds for National Guard
When President Donald Trump directed states to pay for federal deployment of the National Guard in response to nationwide COVID-19 pandemic, he made two big exceptions: Texas and Florida.
- 'It's whiplash': Dead people may yet get their stimulus checks
It’s a surprising twist in the monthslong back and forth within the government over whether the deceased are eligible for the payments.
- Urgency to Bear Witness Grows for Last Hiroshima Victims
In Japan, a dwindling group of survivors - hibakusha - feel growing urgency to tell their stories as the last witnesses of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago this week.
- Pushing Through the Pain as Beirut Wakes up to Effects of Devastating Explosion
(ABC News Twitter)
In a moment described as "beauty from ashes" this Beirut woman played "Auld Lang Syne" on piano at home while surrounded by debris caused from a massive explosion. Story linked.
- Meet the 'best-kept secret of World War II' — the WASP
On this day in 1943, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) was established. The WASP flew a total of 60 million miles performing a variety of missions during World War II.
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
- Measure on toxic exposure pulled from committee agenda for defense authorization bill
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), is pulling his toxic exposure bill from today's Senate Veterans Affairs Committee agenda saying he needs more time this month to get the proposed legislation ready.
- Most working-age retirees must start paying Tricare Select fees, or be kicked out of coverage
Hundreds of thousands of military retirees will be required to pay an enrollment fee for Tricare Select starting Jan. 1 or they’ll be disenrolled from their health care coverage.
- Senators introduce bill to aid ‘K2’ veterans
(Stars & Stripes)
A Senate bill would kickstart medical studies of veterans who served at Karshi-Khanabad Air Base in Uzbekistan and were exposed to multiple cancer-causing toxins.
- Continued limits on VA burial service attendance draw criticism
A congressman who served in Afghanistan is criticizing the VA for continuing to limit attendance at funerals due to the coronavirus pandemic, calling it a “disservice” to the sacrifices of troops.
- $1,200 Coronavirus Stimulus Checks Mistakenly Sent To Foreign Workers Overseas
Thousands of foreign workers who entered the U.S. on temporary work visas received $1,200 stimulus checks, and many of them are spending the money in their home nations.
- The Department of Homeland Security says it will replace military-style uniforms worn by agents
(Task & Purpose)
The Department of Homeland Security says it will change the uniforms of its remaining federal agents stationed in Portland, Oregon after they were criticized for looking too much like soldiers.
- National Archives investigators in pursuit of stolen valor
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an initiative by National Archives Investigators responding to an increase in the number of suspected stolen valor cases.
- Virtual Check-Ins Latest VA Service Improving COVID-19 Security
The Department of Veterans Affairs has recently launched a new feature of its VEText application to maintain COVID-19 security and protect veterans from viral contact while using VA facilities.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- The Why of Self-care
(You Matter - National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)
Self-care is a form of showing yourself love. By checking in with yourself and caring about your needs, you may be better able to accomplish your goals.
- Opinion: 5 ways businesses can prevent a costly mental health crisis
As we enter a sixth straight month of remote work, a sprawling mental health crisis is beginning to arise among the US workforce.
- 12 Mental Health Resources for Black Women
Whether you are looking for a therapist, a support group, a community, free educational materials, financial aid, or self-care podcasts, this list has got something for you.
- 2 Year Old Uses Positive Affirmations To Calm Down And It's Just Plain Adorable
The power of positivity helps the healing process. Even when you’re two-years old.
- I Didn't Know How to Explain My Grief to My Family When My Ex-Boyfriend Died
A common issue about grieving the death of an ex is feeling others don’t understand why you are grieving. Yet it is natural to mourn when someone dies who we once knew so well.
- Watch Pence ceremonially swear in Gen. 'CQ' Brown as next Air Force chief of staff*
(Air Force Times)
Vice President Mike Pence ceremonially swore in General Charles “CQ” Brown, the Air Force’s next chief of staff, in the Oval Office late Tuesday afternoon.
- Esper says he underestimated how much racial injustice affects service members
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said George Floyd’s death was a wake-up call not only for America but himself and has shaped his recent diversity and inclusion efforts within DoD.
- Marines Locate Sunken AAV, Remains of Some Missing Troops
The Marine amphibious assault vehicle that sank off the coast of California last week has been located in 385 feet of water, along with remains of at least some of the missing service members.
- Photos: Plebe Summer in the COVID-19 era
For new appointees at the U.S. Naval Academy, the pandemic has forced some training changes.
- Those who battled Bonhomme Richard blaze risked all to save ship
Op-Ed by Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite following his visit to the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard.
- As veterans, VA staff report USPS delays for prescriptions, officials say to order early
The majority of VA prescriptions are fulfilled by mail. But as postal service delays mount, more veterans report long wait times for critical medication and staff says the problem is only growing.
- Sports Heroes Who Served: Former Midshipman Helps Patriots Win 3 Super Bowls
Sports Heroes Who Served is a DoD series highlighting athletes who served in the military like Navy Lt. Joe Cardona, who has supported families of the fallen through teams4taps.
Military Family News
- Daughters of Fort Drum soldier receive Girl Scout Medals of Honor for helping mom
Three Army kids received the rarely given Girl Scouts Medal of Honor for their quick thinking in a medical emergency. Less than 10% of scouts receive the organization’s highest award.
- Military Parents Vow To Help Deployed Soldiers And Donate Over 2,500 Pairs Of Shoes
A call from their son made these parents realize the military doesn’t replace worn out PT sneakers but mom and dad could.
- Late Geologist's Dream Of Going To Moon Finally Comes True And The Story Is Beautiful
On the nights when Carolyn Shoemaker misses her late husband Eugene more than ever, she finds comfort in looking up at the moon.
- The FDA's list of dangerous hand sanitizers has now grown to more than 100
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded its warning about hand sanitizers to avoid, with the list now topping 100.
- Clorox says disinfectant wipes shortage may last until 2021
COVID-19 has ‘wiped out’ Clorox disinfectant wipes and the company says you'll have to wait until next year for more of the product.
- Officials Look For Younger Poll Workers, Because Of COVID-19
Experts fear older poll workers staying home due to their higher risk for COVID-19 will lead to massive staffing shortages on Election Day.
- Used car prices spiking as COVID-19 pandemic shakes up the market for new cars
In an unprecedented historical shift, buyers are flooding the used-car market, looking for deals amid high prices for new vehicles, low interest rates and a shortage of new-vehicle inventory.
- A Woman's TikTok About Socializing Her Dog In A Doggy Daycare Has Gone Viral
Dog mom’s TikTok ‘pupdates’ are making the dog days of pandemic summer a bit more bearable.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.