The TAPS Daily - June 16, 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.
- Jon Stewart: War Profiteers Must Share Cost of Veteran Care
In a Washington Post Live event Tuesday, Jon Stewart, discussed why he decided to take on advocacy for veterans exposed to burn pits and working with TEAM Coalition, which includes TAPS, to draft legislation addressing military toxic exposures.
- Steroid reduces risk of death in severe COVID-19 patients, trial suggests
A widely available steroid drug may be key in helping to treat the sickest COVID-19 patients who require ventilation or oxygen, according to researchers in the United Kingdom.
- 'Star Trek's' Lt. Uhura Was a NASA Recruiter. And It Worked Like a Charm
A Star Trek icon was actually employed by NASA to recruit new candidates. Actress Nichelle Nichols’ efforts were responsible for recruiting Guion Bluford, the first African American astronaut; Sally Ride, the first female American astronaut; and Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to fly the space shuttle.
- Airlines Say They Will Ramp Up Enforcement Of Face Covering Policies
Some major airlines are stepping up enforcement of face mask requirements citing passengers who do not cooperate could be put on a no-fly list.
- Companies are honoring Juneteenth as a paid holiday. Here’s why people want it to be a national holiday.
(Atlanta Journal Constitution)
The list of major companies and organizations designating Juneteenth as a paid holiday keeps growing.
- ‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over’: iPhone feature will record police interaction, send location
Upon saying “Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over,” the phone automatically sends a message to a contact the user sets up, letting that person know that the user is being stopped by police, along with providing the user’s location. The front camera is then turned on and the phone begins to record video of what is happening.
TAPS In the News
- TAPS News Archive
Catch up on all the TAPS news stories over the years on the TAPS media resource page.
Government Relations / Benefits
- Northam calls for Juneteenth to be a Virginia state holiday
Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that Juneteenth will be an official holiday in Virginia; a state that was once home to the capital of the Confederacy.
- 9 military families sue Fort Hood landlord, citing 'deplorable conditions'.
Nine Army families are suing their privatized housing landlord at Fort Hood, Texas, alleging the company failed to fix their mold-infested, dilapidated housing — sickening their families, and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to their belongings.
- Lawmakers pressure VA on its 125,000 claim backlog
(Task and Purpose)
In a letter sent to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Tuesday, five Democratic lawmakers expressed their frustration with the department’s lack of transparency on the issue so far.
- Sen. Kaine co-introduces legislation to support mental health of military mothers
Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) co-introduced legislation to ensure military mothers have access to adequate support and resources to combat postpartum depression.
- VA insists veterans on Guam were not exposed to dangerous tactical herbicides
A legal battle is looming between the VA and thousands of veterans who served on Guam during the Vietnam War who contend exposure to herbicides containing deadly chemicals should qualify them for health care and disability benefits.
- FDA Revokes Emergency Hydroxychloroquine Approval Over Side Effects Concerns
The Food and Drug Administration on Monday revoked its permission for physicians to use the antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine on patients hospitalized with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
- Is Veterans' Preference Bad for the National Security Workforce?
(War on the Rocks)
When veterans consistently edge their civilian counterparts out of the federal defense civil service workforce, it disrupts the U.S. national security ecosystem and the tenuous balance of civil-military relations. The consequences are now unfolding in real time and warrant closer scrutiny.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- How anxiety affects your focus
Feel like you can’t concentrate on anything at the moment? You’re not alone. The extra anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has impaired our working memory, experts say.
- The Chronic Stress of Life During the COVID-19 Pandemic Causes Unusual Symptoms
Understanding why our bodies are reacting in these ways can help us develop strategies to prevent stress from getting under our skin.
- 4 simple stretches to help relieve stress and tension - CNET
Release tension in your body and mind with these simple yoga-inspired exercises.
- Almost 3 in 10 parents say social distancing is harming child's mental health
Nearly 3 in 10 parents said their child is experiencing mental or emotional health issues due to social distancing and coronavirus closures, according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday.
- How PTSD, cPTSD and BPD Can Impact Relationships
All three conditions can struggle with healthy interpersonal relationships, however, there are some distinctions that separate the three disorders.
- Virus Diary: `The meaning of abiding love in all its guises’
Loss and its many guises have been constants during the pandemic. Loss of loved ones. Economic loss. Loss of contact with family and friends. One widower shares his pandemic experience of unalterable loss and enduring love.
- Drowning Deaths: Fort Carson Mourns Pfc. Michael Carter And Spc. Zion Thompkins
Leaders at Fort Carson are mourning two soldiers who drowned in separate incidents at Lake Pueblo State Park on Friday afternoon. Pfc. Michael Carter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Spc. Zion T. Thompkins from Chesapeake, Virginia were both 21 years old.
- Lakenheath F-15 pilot killed in sea crash identified
(Air Force Times)
The Air Force announced early Tuesday that 1Lt. Kenneth “Kage” Allen, assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron of the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath in England, died in Monday’s crash. Allen was the assistant chief of weapons and tactics for his squadron, the wing said in a release.
- Frustrated advocates say racial biases within military justice system remain despite repeated alarms
The military’s top legal officers conceded on Tuesday that racial disparities still exist within the military justice system, and said that improvements need to be made. But lawmakers and advocates say that overdue acknowledgement isn’t enough.
- LGBT service members are allowed to be out and proud, but a fear of repercussions persists
Half a decade after the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell, most lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members still felt reluctant to be open about their sexuality with their colleagues and chain of command, according to a study released in late May.
- 4 Ways to Find More Money to Save for Retirement
A comfortable retirement depends, in large part, on the choices you make today. Fewer than 20% of service members remain on active duty long enough to earn a military pension. Of those who do, very few retire from the military without ever working again.
- Army now offering $25,000 reward for information regarding missing Fort Hood soldier
(Task and Purpose)
U.S. Army investigators have increased the reward for information leading to the whereabouts of a missing Fort Hood soldier to $25,000.
- Free MBA program, offered via Zoom, aims to help veterans
A free, online Executive MBA program for veterans who are small-business owners is accepting applications for Zoom classes that start in August.
- Veteran brothers invent the Milspin no touch key to combat COVID-19
Combat veterans and brothers Chet and Dana Peters created the Milspin no touch key to help themselves and their employees because their Ohio facility remained operational during the pandemic.
Military Family News
- What Are the Free Speech Rules for Military Spouses?
Despite the actual policies -- or lack thereof -- regarding freedom of speech for military spouses, we know that it's not quite that simple in practice.
- 4 steps you need in your battle plan for marriage resiliency
(We Are The Mighty)
A recent Blue Star Families survey noted both family stability and time away from family as the two of the top issues affecting military marriages.
- Meet people volunteering to be exposed to COVID-19 for vaccine research
A growing group of people are eager to be subjects in coronavirus vaccine tests that might help to heal the world -- but harm themselves.
- Children with ADHD can now be prescribed a video game, FDA says
The first video game-based treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has been approved by the FDA. The video game, EndeavorRx, will be prescription only and aimed at children between the ages of eight and 12 with certain types of ADHD.
- 'I am mama' movement is a call for mothers in the fight against systemic racism
(Good Morning America)
"I believe that we are one generation away from changing the world, and us mothers have a powerful role in that.
- Nothing short of miraculous: The housing market continues to hold up
The coronavirus outbreak hasn't made a serious dent in Americans' willingness to buy new homes or fix up their current houses.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.