The TAPS Daily - June 15, 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.
- As space concerns mount at Arlington National Cemetery, officials move to expand historic site
Federal officials this week moved to acquire a large parcel of land south of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia for a planned massive expansion of the well-known military site, designed to extend the site’s use as space issues threaten its future.
- Military data reveals dangerous reality for black service members and veterans
Data provided by the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs reveals the stark reality that black service members are less likely to become officers and, as a result, are more likely to be seriously injured serving their country than their white colleagues.
- ‘Everyone cried’—Vietnamese-born cop used a DNA test to finally meet his GI father
(Task and Purpose)
Mike Strange joined the U.S. Army on March 7, 1968, two weeks after graduating from high school. Little did he know that he would have a son born on that day, four years later
- Teen That Cleaned Up City for 10 Hours After Protest Receives Car and Scholarship as a 'Thank You'
(Good News Network)
The car - a red Ford Mustang - turned out to have more meaning to Antonio Gwynn than the donor could have ever imagined when gifting it. Antonio’s mother, who passed away in 2018, also drove a red Mustang.
TAPS In the News
- Army Strong — One family's proud tradition of service since the Civil War
As the U.S. Army celebrates its 245th birthday on June 14, soldiers and Army families reflect on the rich legacy of the first established service branch.
- TAPS News Archive
Catch up on all the TAPS news stories over the years on the TAPS media resource page.
Government Relations / Benefits
- U.S. Citizenship for Military, Veterans, and Dependents
Military, veterans, and dependents -- including surviving family members -- may be eligible for naturalization under special regulations. There is even a provision in the law that allows for posthumous granting of U.S. Citizenship of military members who died in the line of duty, or as a result of their military service.
- Food pantries at VA facilities support Veteran whole health
Food pantries are cropping up at various VA medical centers across the country. VA providers screen patients during clinical assessments for signs of food insecurity. If Veterans are in need, food pantries supply them with a week’s worth of groceries before they leave the medical center.
- VA Will Reimburse Some Veterans For Adoption Expenses
According to the VA, any veteran with a service-connected disability that is due to "the inability to procreate without the use of fertility treatment" can be reimbursed for qualifying expenses for adopting a child under 18.
- 3 Percent Military Pay Raise in Proposed Defense Budget
The military could see a 3-percent pay increase next year under a $740.5 billion Defense budget plan approved by a major Senate committee. The must-pass Defense budget policy bill also includes increasing the total number of troops, more coronavirus pandemic response funding and addresses the military's role in national unrest.
- House GOP lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19
Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) announced Monday that he and his family had tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the eighth member of Congress to have a confirmed or presumed case of the disease.
- Family of fallen veteran frustrated with funeral guidelines amid pandemic
Among the New Mexico businesses having to operate at limited capacity, one family is upset that even includes funeral homes and cemeteries. They said it’s delaying a proper burial for their loved one who was a veteran who passed away earlier this year.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- Overcoming Trauma
Trauma and grief can seem very similar but must be separated out and treated independently. If you need assistance with finding a therapist or a program that specializes in trauma care, you can request a counseling referral by calling TAPS.
- CPTSD, PTSD and Trauma: Now's the Time to Understand Intergenerational Trauma
Any kind of trauma has to be acknowledged before you can begin to heal from it. But when intergenerational trauma goes unacknowledged, then the pattern repeats into the next generation. And into the next. And like any pattern, it is repeated until it is acknowledged. Until it is understood. Only then can we begin to let it go.
- Thoughts On Remembering Dads Gone Too Soon and Idea for Celebrating Fathers Still With Us
Too many of us think we’ll remember all our dad’s funny reflections, or we’ll have ample time to listen to stories he’s yet to pass along. Make this Sunday count. Take advantage of Father’s Day to celebrate dads gone too soon. And use the moment to strengthen the connections you’re fortunate to still have.
- The Hidden Emotional Cost of the Coronavirus Pandemic
On a macro level, the pandemic has exposed the fragility of so much that many of us took for granted, from our economy to our health care system. Yet when I look at myself, what I see laid bare by the crisis is how all the systems I used to keep myself feeling whole were more precarious than I’d ever realized.
- Why chronic stress and COVID-19 are a 'perfect storm' for the health of black Americans
A normal stress response is designed to last for a brief period of time, followed by rejuvenation. But when this response is activated over and over again for prolonged and indeterminate durations, it takes its toll on you.
- Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery process for a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) patient. The overall goal of rehabilitation after a TBI is to improve the patient's ability to function at home and in society.
- 5 Simple Ways To Improve Your Mental Health Every Day
Simple tips for maintaining your mental health during the pandemic, protests, environmental disasters, and other crises that are troubling us now, as well as the normal stresses of everyday life.
- How To Deal with Grief : Life Kit
Grief For Beginners: 5 Things To Know About Processing Loss.
- Woman becomes first observant Sikh to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point
Her graduation marks an incredible success for Sikh Americans who at one point were not allowed to practice core tenets of their face, including unshaven hair and turbans while serving in the military.
- More than 1,000 Marine Recruits Volunteer for COVID-19 Study at Parris Island
The military has launched its second big study looking at how the novel coronavirus affects young people, this time at a Marine Corps' recruit depot that saw an early COVID-19 outbreak.
- Missing Fort Hood soldier's sister wants Army CID to hand case off to FBI
The family of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen is asking that the missing soldier’s case be taken out of the hands of Army CID, after nearly two months have passed with no resolution since she disappeared from Fort Hood, Texas, on April 22.
- Air Force Pilot in F-15 Crash Confirmed Dead
The pilot was on a routine training mission Monday morning when the accident occurred. The cause of the crash has not been identified.
- In Change, Army Says ACFT Scores Won’t Count Against Soldiers Until 2022
Beginning Oct. 1, a modified version of the Army Combat Fitness Test will become the service's new fitness evaluation, but training challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic will mean individual scores will not count against soldiers until 2022.
- 'Soldier first, gamer second' — Meet the Special Forces soldier who plays video games for the Army
(Task and Purpose)
The active-duty soldier gets paid to play video games or hours on end, as a member of the Army's esports team.
- Five Women Veterans Who Deserve to Have Army Bases Named After Them
Though women only became full, permanent members of the U.S. Armed Forces in 1948, they have been part of the Army since its earliest days. Women have always served alongside American men at war, whether as cooks or laundresses, nurses or spies, or even disguised as soldiers.
- Distancing has hit women veterans particularly hard
(Federal News Network)
Physical distancing and stay-at-home-orders have made access to health care particularly difficult for women veterans. The Veterans Health Administration has stepped up outreach to them.
- When heroes need heroes: VA Nevada nurses deploy to New Jersey
(We Are The Mighty)
These LPNs volunteered to go to New Jersey to assist medical staff in nursing homes, where staff has been stretched to the breaking point caring for their high-risk senior population.
- Marine veteran Paul Whelan sentenced to 16 years in Russia on spying charges
The Moscow City Court on Monday read out the conviction of Paul Whelan on charges of espionage and sentenced him to 16 years in a maximum security prison colony.
- Korean War veteran sees medals for first time at ceremony
A 91-year old veteran finally received his Purple Heart medal and four other awards earned during his Korea War era service.
- Marine veteran combats PTSD symptoms by serving others
(We Are The Mighty)
"Yeah, I have PTSD. But there is a way out. That way out is to do for others."
- 17 brilliant insights from legendary Marine general James Mattis
(We Are The Mighty)
Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis is a legend in the military and respected for his leadership style. We looked back at some of the best insights he offered, through a great collection of quotes.
Military Family News
- Zero to Three: free parenting resources
Free resources to help Veteran and military families raising children.
- 9 Father's Day Gift Ideas and Military Discounts
Here are some ideas for the military dad in your family, along with some great deals so pampering him won’t break your bank.
- MilKid Noah Epps Makes His 'America's Got Talent' Debut
Military kid Noah Epps got a chance to show off his dance moves on the big stage, and now the segment he taped in March will air on the June 16 episode.
- Supreme Court bans LGBT employment discrimination
In a sweeping landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited under federal civil rights law.
- A New Addiction Crisis: Treatment Centers Face Financial Collapse
Consumption of drugs and alcohol has increased in the U.S. during the pandemic. But, at the same time, a host of financial challenges now threaten the existence of most addiction treatment centers across the country.
- Elder Abuse in the Midst of a Pandemic
(We Are The Mighty)
Senior exploitation happens more often than you might think, and there's no better time to focus on it than June for World Elder Abuse Month.
- How to See Jupiter, Mars and Saturn Rise Every Day This Month
Even though Jupiter and Saturn are the largest in the solar system, they’re not the brightest. But this month, both gas giants will be more visible than usual, and as a bonus, you should be able to spot Mars to the left of the other two planets.
- Oscars 2021 officially postponed 2 months due to COVID-19 pandemic
(Good Morning America)
The board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences met Monday to discuss the upcoming awards ceremony amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and ultimately decided to push it from Sunday, February 28, until Sunday, April 25.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.