The TAPS Daily - July 23, 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.
- Congressional Veterans’ Affairs Leadership Introduce Bill to Expand Benefits for National Guard Members Responding to COVID-19
U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Jon Tester (D-MT), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (SVAC), along with Representatives Mark Takano (D-CA) and Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), chairman and ranking member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee (HVAC), introduced the COVID-19 Benefits for Active Duty Servicemembers, the Reserve Components, and their Survivors Act of 2020 that would expand survivor benefits for members of the National Guard who are activated under federal orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. TAPS is grateful to Senators Moran and Tester, and Representatives Takano and Roe for introducing this important legislation.
- U.S. hits 4 million coronavirus cases
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 4 million on Thursday; a steady increase fueled by surges since states started reopening.
- COVID-19 DoD Cases Has Increased 85 Percent in July
From April through June, DoD reported 17,116 cases of COVID-19 across the force. In July alone, the Pentagon reported another 14,657 cases -- a more than 85 percent increase.
- Opening day amid virus: Masks, empty parks, social justice
Opening day, at last. A baseball season that was on the brink before it ever began because of the virus outbreak is set to start Thursday night.
- Why COVID-19 Testing Delays Are a Huge Problem
People across the country are reporting lags of at least a week, and sometimes much longer, while awaiting their COVID-19 test results.
- Veterans wrongly denied benefits during pandemic
Internal VA records reveal approximately 20,000 benefits claims may have been improperly denied due to appointments cancelled during the COVID-19 crisis.
- How Long Does COVID-19 Immunity Last After Recovering?
Researchers have been investigating how long antibodies to the coronavirus last in people who have recovered from infections.
- Facing Grief During A Pandemic
Where can one escape grief when there is a stay at home order? Surviving spouse found her healing journey involved picking up a pen and paper.
- Video captures moment Pizza Hut delivery driver was left stunned by $100 tip
A thoughtful recognition for an everyday hero during this pandemic shows the importance and impact of such kind gestures when so many Americans are struggling.
TAPS In the News
- Good vs. Bad Pain: Finding Power and Purpose Through The Hurt
Pain can be a valuable teacher. As much as we may learn from it, we may also avoid it.
- 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
- House OKs Free National Park Access for Gold Star Families
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a proposal from two Maine lawmakers to give families of fallen military service members free access to national parks.
- Mother seeks change after son's 'preventable' death in military accident
Proposed legislation would require DoD to examine emergency response capabilities at all U.S. military bases, including fielding functioning medevacs and fully stocked military ambulances.
- Bill would expand burial eligibility in veterans cemeteries
Proposed legislation would expand eligibility for state veterans cemeteries to allow for the interring of National Guard members and Reservists.
- AOC proposes measure to put an end to military recruiting using esports teams, livestreaming
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-NY), introduced a measure on Wednesday that would prohibit the military’s use of video games, esports teams, and livestreaming for recruitment.
- Congress Considers Expanding Veterans Affairs Dental Care
94% of veterans at VA don't qualify for dental care. Congress is considering a change.
- Lawmakers Weigh Brian Tally VA Medical Malpractice Bill
Lawmakers weigh a bill to protect veterans and families who experience VA medical malpractice.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- Veterans With TBI Drink More Often than Peers, Study Finds
A study found a subset of veterans who drink more than others on a daily basis: those who have had a traumatic brain injury or been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.
- Arlingtonian to use pageant win to boost mental health awareness
Inspired by her own family’s experience with PTSD, the 2020 Miss Virginia for America has embraced a focus on mental health awareness.
- The Mandatory Beginner’s Guide to Grief
During these difficult times it’s very possible you’re grieving. That’s why we’ve crafted this beginner’s guide to grief. We’ll get through this — together.
- Is It Stress, Fear, or Anxiety? How to Know the Difference
Many people use the terms stress, anxiety, and fear interchangeably. They are not the same though and knowing the difference can help you cope better.
- Puerto Rico National Guard faces a perfect storm
(We Are The Mighty)
A deadly pandemic, a Category 5 hurricane and two earthquakes. The Puerto Rico National Guard has stepped up to meet a range of natural disasters challenges for the past three years.
- As coronavirus lingers, all 4,000 cadets to return to Air Force Academy
(Air Force Times)
The Air Force Academy said its entire student body will return to campus this fall, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
- Submarines, Usually an Ideal Place for Disease to Spread, Manage to Keep COVID-19 at Bay
The U.S. submarine force has managed to keep the novel coronavirus at bay with an infection rate of less than 0.5%, according to the force's commander, Vice Adm. Daryl Caudle.
- 2 Marines, State Department agent awarded for daring ocean rescue
(Marine Corps Times)
Two Marines and a special agent assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Liberia, saved a man from drowning in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Airman who died after being found unresponsive at Kunsan Air Base identified
(Task & Purpose)
Air Force officials have identified an airman who died at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
- 'An Incredible Paratrooper:' Army IDs Soldier Killed in Vehicle Rollover Accident in Syria
An 82nd Airborne soldier died from injuries suffered in a vehicle roll over accident in Syria.
- Officials: Fort Hood Soldier Believed to Have Drowned
Authorities say a Fort Hood soldier found dead last week is believed to have drowned.
- Veteran rebuilt life with assistance from SSVF
The VA is awarding nearly $400 million in grants through a program that helps thousands of veteran families access crucial services and resources that lead to secure permanent housing.
Military Family News
- USAA helps military “get inside” Petco Park & offers discounted MLB.TV subscriptions
(We Are The Mighty)
teams4taps partner, the San Diego Padres, and USAA are honoring the military community all season long with two key initiatives. USAA is a strong supporter of TAPS.
- Dad Posts Videos Sharing Meals With His Frenchie And It's Cuteness Overload
This human-doggo duo eating everything together is guaranteed to brighten your day.
- This Corgi Has Perfectly Hilarious Expressions For Every Occasion
A dog named Gen turns funny faces into an art form.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.