The TAPS Daily - June 12, 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.
- Defense Department COVID-19 cases continue on an upswing
There were nearly 1,000 new coronavirus cases diagnosed among troops, civilians, dependents and contractors with the Defense Department this week, according to the latest data reported by the Joint Staff.
- Veterans: Frontline Concerns
Tuesday June 16, the Toxic Exposures in The American Military Coalition will participate in a Washington Post Live event with celebrity activist Jon Stewart, Senator Thom Tillis, and Congressman Raul Ruiz, Maryland to discuss the impact of toxic exposures on military veterans. Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is proud to be a part of the coalition.
- Face masks with windows mean more than smiles to deaf people
Face coverings to curb the spread of the coronavirus are making it hard for people who read lips to communicate. So entrepreneurs are creating masks with plastic windows for hearing people to wear, allowing lip readers to see mouths move.
- U.S. passport processing resumes as centers first tackle a coronavirus backlog
(Stars and Stripes)
The State Department has resumed processing U.S. passports to clear a backlog of 1.7 million pending applications before it can start tackling new requests, officials said Friday.
- Naval Aviation Schools Command CO and fellow Navy pilot killed in private plane crash
The head of the Navy’s Aviation Schools Command and a fellow Navy aviator were killed Wednesday after a private plane they were flying in crashed near Selma, Alabama, officials confirmed Friday.
- Norfolk Naval Shipyard Employees Deliver U.S. Flags to Funeral Home to Honor Departed Veterans
Flag Day is June 14. Learn about how one employee group that began an initiative to deliver U.S. flags as part of its Retire Your Flag Program in 2016. The flags collected are draped over a fallen veteran at the time of cremation, a tribute to their service and a patriotic way to honor them.
TAPS In the News
- TAPS News Archive
Catch up on all the TAPS news stories over the years on the TAPS media resource page.
- TAPS COVID-19 Response
Find resources, services, and support provided 24/7 by TAPS to surviving military families navigating the challenges of COVID-19.
- COVID-19 Government and Partner Resource Update
Learn more about access to and impacts on your government benefits during COVID-19.
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Upcoming Events | TAPS
The latest 2020 schedule of events across the TAPS Family.
Government Relations / Benefits
- Why the Supreme Court's ruling on burn pits will have catastrophic effects
(We Are The Mighty)
Burn pits are, without a shadow of a doubt, the post-9/11 veteran's Agent Orange. Countless troops have been exposed to the toxic gases given off by the mishandling of dangerous substances.
- Texas Supreme Court Won't Hear Veteran's Case over Firing Related to Burn Pit Injuries
The Texas Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of retired Army Capt. Le Roy Torres, who sued the state of Texas three years ago because he said he was forced out of his job with the state highway patrol after returning from a deployment to Iraq with injuries caused by burn pit exposure.
- June 12 Women Veterans Appreciation Day if Resolution Passes
A woman veteran in Congress is again pushing to create a national day of recognition for women who have served their country in the Armed Forces and National Guard.
- Big Changes to Military Health System Will Be Delayed, Top Health Official Says
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on reforms of the Pentagon's health system, delaying plans to reduce services at 48 hospitals and clinics by months and forcing additional reviews of civilian care in locations affected by the changes.
- Clash over Renaming Army Bases Could Delay Troops' Pay Raise, Senator Warns
A showdown over whether to rename 10 Army bases honoring Confederate leaders could leave the next defense policy bill, which includes a 3% pay bump for troops, facing the president's veto stamp.
- Washington State Taps National Guard for Jobless Aid Backlog
The state of Washington is calling in the National Guard to help process unemployment benefit claims as officials grapple with a backlog caused in part by a fraud ring that stole more than half a billion dollars in aid, officials said Thursday.
- Bill would create commemorative coin in support of National WWII Memorial
Two representatives jointly introduced a bill to authorize the U.S. Treasury to mint coins to contribute to maintenance and programming at the National WWII Memorial.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- Speech-based markers identify PTSD with 89 percent accuracy
Post-traumatic stress disorder can be difficult to identify and diagnose because no objective test exists — diagnosis depends on clinical interviews and self-reporting. But according to researchers at New York University, there might be a better way.
- PTSD — Finding healthy ways to cope in crisis
(Loma Linda University)
Understanding the diagnosis of PTSD is important, and experts say taking care of your mental health during a crisis is the best way to minimize more detrimental long-term effects.
- Racial trauma can leave black people with PTSD symptoms
Psychological science suggests that people who experience race-based stress and trauma frequently have similar experiences to people who have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
- Chronic PTSD Linked to Altered REM Sleep Without Atonia
Patients with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk for altered REM sleep without atonia (RSWA) - the normal temporary paralysis of arms and legs that occurs during REM sleep.
- Why Lockdown Has Triggered Complex PTSD For Some People
We are hearing from survivors who are experiencing heightened symptoms of PTSD under lockdown. These include hypervigilance, emotional numbness, vivid dreaming or nightmares and flashbacks.
- Joe Biden's Secret Weapon Is Grief
The presumptive Democratic nominee has a gift for empathy that can help him win the election. But will a mourner in chief be able to govern?
- Grieving the loss of your lifestyle amid COVID-19 pandemic
As we come out of isolation, there’s another emotion we are going to feel -- anticipatory grief. It’s a feeling of not knowing what to expect or what we are going to lose in the future. It’s something everyone will need to work through to move on.
- SECDEF orders after action review of National Guard efforts during civil unrest duties
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has ordered an after-action review of the National Guard’s response to civil unrest that roiled the nation in the wake of the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a black man prosecutors say was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer.
- Immigrants, prior enlisted and first-generation among those commissioning through Army ROTC today
Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Joseph M. Martin hosted a livestreamed commissioning ceremony from the Pentagon on Friday for the roughly 6,000 newly minted second lieutenants coming out of the service’s ROTC programs nationwide.
- National Guard Troops Amid Protests Cost Nearly $25M in California
It cost nearly $25 million for California to deploy 8,000 National Guard soldiers throughout the state to assist police during protests over racial injustice inspired by the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
- DOD's Health Care Chief Discusses Pivot to Counter COVID-19
The coronavirus has shined a light onto the capabilities of the military healthcare system, and medics are responding, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs said.
- Air Force Secretary Meets Airmen, Learns Readiness Practices Amid COVID-19
Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett visited several units on Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, to see their readiness capabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic firsthand.
- Marine recruits helping provide insight into COVID-19
Some recruits stepping onto the iconic yellow footprints at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island are taking part in a study that could have a nationwide impact.
- This Air Force pilot is the first woman to fly the F-35 in combat
(Air Force Times)
Air Force Capt. Emily “Banzai” Thompson had never conducted a combat sortie before deploying to Al Dhafra Air Force base in the United Arab Emirates. Now, she is the first woman to ever fly the F-35A Lightning II in combat.
- New Army Green Uniform Will Soon Be Available for Soldiers to Buy
The Army Green Service Uniform will not be mandatory for about seven more years, but soldiers will be able to start purchasing the iconic World War II-style uniform by late this summer, according to uniform officials.
- Naval Academy board chief calls for removal of Confederate names from buildings
(Task and Purpose)
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland) is calling for the removal of two building names at the Naval Academy, citing links to the Confederacy.
- June 12 Is Women Veterans Day
The first Women Veterans Day was held June 12, 2018, marking the 70th anniversary of the groundbreaking Women's Armed Services Integration Act, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on June 12, 1948.
- We already have the army of skilled workers we need to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic: Our veterans
(Task and Purpose)
With about 200,000 service members transitioning out annually, the United States military provides a stream of highly trained talent to the American economy.
- Coast Guard Veteran benefits from PTSD horse therapy
June is PTSD awareness month and the National Center for PTSD estimates an average of eight million adults have the disorder during a given year. For many of those affected, horses can help them to rediscover inner peace.
- The Civilian Who Got a Bronze Star from the Army (ft. Joe Galloway)
Joe Galloway, a war correspondent whose coverage of the Vietnam War helped shape how we remember and understand it. Much more impressively, he's the only civilian to ever receive the Bronze Star for combat valor for heroism in Vietnam from the Army.
- Two Scottish veterans train for the first-ever Arnold Schwarzenegger Disabled Strongman Competition
(We Are The Mighty)
The story of these two combat veterans and their journey to find purpose, camaraderie and pride after coming home from war is the basis for the new documentary IED: Improve Every Day. The film shows how a veteran's bond is undying and that no injury, physical or psychological, can stand up to the strength forged by the military brotherhood.
Military Family News
- Military Overseas Connect with Other Cultures Through Food Despite COVID-19 Lockdown
Despite the challenges of being in quarantine, the military community has still managed to connect – virtually – with the diverse cultures around them through USO educational food programs.
- Legacy of service: Army officer carries family’s warfighting torch
For the Anderson family, military service is in their blood, and last month that bloodline continued on with its latest addition, roughly a month before the Army’s 245th birthday.
- Best U.S. cities to live in the after the coronavirus
(We Are The Mighty)
If you are considering moving to a new place after the novel coronavirus pandemic, you may want to consider one of these 30 U.S. cities.
- Daughter invents self-hug window so elderly parents can embrace for 1st time since quarantine
(Good Morning America)
George Glass hadn't held hands with his wife of 61 years in months due to coronavirus lockdown. That is, until his daughter got to work solving the problem.
- NASA names first woman to head human spaceflight
The NASA official who managed the inaugural private crewed flight into space last month has been promoted to become the first female head of human spaceflight, the agency said Friday, as it prepares to return people to the Moon in 2024.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.