The TAPS Daily - July 9, 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.
- Russian Ambassador Calls Reports of Bounty Program To Kill U.S. Soldiers a 'Downright Lie'
U.S. media reports of a Russian bounty program to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan are a “downright lie,” Moscow’s ambassador in Washington said Wednesday, and are “poisoning the atmosphere of cooperation” on Afghan peace between the two countries.
- It's official: A woman is joining the ranks of Army Special Forces for the first time in history
(Task & Purpose)
A woman has successfully finished Army Special Forces training and is joining the elite Green Berets for the first time in U.S. military history.
- Will wearing a face mask protect you from COVID-19? It’s complicated. Here are the 5 biggest mask myths
Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a lot of confusion regarding face masks. Wearing face masks between April and May averted 230,000 coronavirus cases, one study concluded.
- Here’s how the Air Force is remembering its first female pilots
(Air Force Times)
To recognize these pioneers’ accomplishments, the Air Force Education and Training Command renamed the Martin Hall Conference Room to the Trailblazer Room at the AETC headquarters at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph in Texas last month.
- With coronavirus cases surging, VA’s ‘fourth mission’ now covers 46 states, Wilkie says
(Federal News Network)
As new coronavirus hotspots have emerged across the U.S., the Department of Veterans Affairs has deployed nearly 1,000 of its own medical professionals to 46 states as part of its “fourth mission.”
- WHO warns COVID-19 pandemic is ‘accelerating’ and ‘getting worse’
(New York Post)
The director-general of the World Health Organization warned this week that the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating and the virus has not reached its peak worldwide.
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.
- New Sinema Bill Supports Families of Deceased Veterans
(Office of US Senator Kyrsten Sinema)
Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Republican Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced a new bipartisan bill ensuring family members of veterans who passed away due to the coronavirus receive the dependent benefits they’ve earned. TAPS is working with Senator Sinema and Senator Tillis to advance this important legislation.
- U.S. government launches campaign to reduce high suicide rates, particularly among veterans
The federal government launched a campaign aimed at reducing high suicide rates, urging the public to reach out to others. TAPS is a member of the PREVENTS task force.
- TAPS News Archive
Catch up on all the TAPS news stories over the years on the TAPS media resource page.
Government Relations / Benefits
- Some in Congress want to keep sending our troops to Afghanistan
Members of Congress on the House Armed Services Committee, led by Representatives Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Jason Crow (D-CO), added an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act that would restrict the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.
- Pentagon leaders face grilling today on use of military in unrest
The Pentagon’s top leaders are going before Congress to face a long list of controversies, including their differences with President Donald Trump over the handling of protests near the White House last month during unrest triggered by the killing of George Floyd in police hands.
- 'Deadly serious': Bad paper discharges keep veterans from critical benefits, advocates tell Congress
The "failure of the Department of Veterans Affairs and America to help veterans with bad-paper discharges is "deadly serious," Army veteran and advocate Kris Goldsmith told lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
- House panel isn’t giving defense industry all the COVID aid it wants
The Pentagon would have $758 million to help mid-tier defense firms weather the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic as part of the annual defense spending bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- Childhood experiences and exposure to combat linked to poorer mental health
(Penn State News)
Exposure to ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) is associated with physical and mental health, as well as developmental and behavioral problems. Individuals in the military are more likely to be exposed to ACEs compared to their civilian peers.
- COVID-19 deaths may lead to prolonged grief disorder
Losing a loved one can have a deeper effect on a person during the pandemic.
- 'Be selfish with your mental health': Teens advocate for self-care and more support
Even before the pandemic, teens and women struggled with their mental health. While it is getting worse, experts say there is hope.
- Anxiety makes us bad decision-makers. Here's how to do better even if you're worried about everything
If you're struggling with anxiety and making poor decisions as a result, experts say there are techniques you can use to feel better and make wise choices.
- 85 Mental Health Quotes for Happiness and Success
A healthy mental state will help you leverage your Everyday Power to achieve the success you seek and live a purposeful life.Here are some inspirational mental health quotes to remind you of that.
- Marine Corps shutters Camp Hansen on Okinawa ‘until further notice’
(Stars and Stripes)
The commander of Camp Hansen has ordered the Okinawa Marine base closed “until further notice,” according to a mass email alert from Marine Corps Installations Pacific late Wednesday.
- Lee Greenwood joins with Air Force singers in new production of 'God Bless the U.S.A.'
(Stars and Stripes)
A new version of Lee Greenwood’s iconic “God Bless the U.S.A.” with Greenwood, the U.S. Air Force Band and a cappella group, Home Free, might win you over.
- No more physical fitness assessments for 2020, Navy says
The Navy is cutting physical fitness tests for the remainder of the year amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19, after already canceling the spring cycle of the physical fitness assessment.
- Veterans Health Administration works to help homeless and at-risk veterans during the pandemic
The nation’s veterans are facing a greater threat of homelessness due to the widespread economic impact of COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced in May that it has expanded assistance to veterans experiencing homelessness or those who are at high risk.
- VA should already care for veterans with bad-paper discharges, experts say
A bad-conduct or an other-than-honorable discharge does not disqualify veterans from Veterans Affairs Department health care, veteran advocates say, despite what some have been told ― sometimes by the VA itself.
- Inside the VA’s Long-Standing Racism Problem
A Confederate-friendly Trump appointee and an involuntary Juneteenth dress-up are just the latest in a long history of indignities for black veterans and caregivers.
- Why an Unemployed Veteran Memorized the U.S. Constitution
A World War I veteran basically bet a U.S. congressman for a job, telling him that he could recite the entire U.S. Constitution from memory.
Military Family News
- U.S. Military Members Qualify for Special Tax Breaks
(CPA Practice Advisor)
As the July 15 tax filing season deadline approaches, members of the active duty and reserve military and their families are eligible for special tax benefits that can ease the filing process.
- Commissaries worldwide selling reusable, disposable protective masks
Commissaries worldwide are now selling reusable and disposable protective masks, the Defense Commissary Agency’s (DeCA) director of sales announced. Two brands of masks, one reusable and the other disposable, became available to most stores worldwide in late June.
- How One Military Spouse Uses Her Experience to Help Others
Bolado has done what many military spouses have over the years -- taken a challenge and turned it into a blessing, then shared that with others.
- COVID-19 Cases Are Rising, So Why Are Deaths Flatlining?
The gap between soaring cases and falling deaths is being weaponized by the right to claim a hollow victory in the face of shameless failure. What’s really going on?
- Rescue Dog Saves Sleeping Neighbors From House Fire
Tennessee authorities said a rescue dog became a hero on the Fourth of July by alerting her owner to a house fire next door.
- Nurse Plays Violin For Coronavirus Patients To Inspire Faith, Hope And Love
A nurse at El Pino hospital in Santiago has been playing the violin for patients in the Critical Care Unit in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
- What is the 2020 Song of the Summer?
COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how and what we're listening to during these warm months normally defined by BBQs and outdoor concerts.
- Coronavirus forces summer camps across America to close
Summer camps throughout the country have canceled sessions or closed after attendees and employees tested positive for COVID-19 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.