The TAPS Daily - June 18, 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.
- Supreme Court blocks Trump from ending DACA in big win for Dreamers
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration cannot carry out its plan to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has allowed nearly 800,000 young people, known as Dreamers, to avoid deportation and remain in the U.S.
- Defense secretary announces review that aims to increase racial equity and diversity in U.S. military
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced an ambitious and sweeping internal review Thursday aimed at improving diversity and "ensuring equal opportunity across all ranks" of the U.S. military.
- American COVID-19 death toll surpasses U.S. troop deaths in World War I
In the two years the United States fought in WWI, more than 116,500 service members died. The COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed nearly 118,000.
- Science to drive vaccine efforts, not politics, nominee pledges
The Army general tapped to lead the federal government’s efforts to develop and mass-produce a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year pledged Thursday to base his decisions on science and not politics.
- Beloved Coast Guard dog Onyx passes away after 13.5 years of being a very good girl
(Task & Purpose)
A beloved U.S. Coast Guard comfort dog has died after more than a decade on the job in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
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
- Trump Announces $53 Million ‘Roadmap’ to Prevent Veteran Suicides
President Donald Trump announced a $53 million, two-year roadmap to prevent veteran suicides during a White House address on June 17. TAPS is an integral part of the PREVENTS Task Force and will help to implement the recommendations of the PREVENTS Roadmap. TAPS was present at the White House when the plan was unveiled.
- Top Pentagon official Wheelbarger resigns, urges colleagues to be guided by U.S. Constitution
Kathryn Wheelbarger, one of the Pentagon’s most prominent and respected policy officials, is resigning after three years in the job.
- Bipartisan legislation would waive drug fees for service members and veterans during COVID-19
Prescription drug fees would be waived for service members and veterans under a new bipartisan bill recently introduced in Congress.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- The First Data On COVID-19 And Teens' Mental Health Is Here — And It's Not Good
(The Huffington Post)
A new survey released this week gives a preliminary glimpse at the toll all of those changes have taken on teenagers’ mental health — and it raises an early alarm.
- COVID-19 may have consequences for mental health
The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected the physical lives of most people. But now there are also indications that the pandemic has negative consequences for the mental health of the people being infected, the healthcare professionals and the population as a whole.
- Is It Still Possible to Hope?
Three reasons you don't have to give up hope, even with the state of our world.
- Johns Hopkins is Offering Free Online Course in Psychological First Aid
(Good News Network)
As the world becomes more and more attentive to the importance of mental health, researchers are offering up an invaluable resource on how to give “psychological first aid” to a distressed person—and it is available for free.
- A Scientist's Pink Cast Leads To Discovery About How The Brain Responds To Disability
A neurologist who encased his healthy right arm in a pink fiberglass cast for two weeks has shown how quickly the brain can change after an injury or illness.
- Kevin Love to be awarded Arthur Ashe Courage Award for mental health advocac
Kevin Love of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers has opened up about his personal battles with anxiety and depression, and has shared what led him to become an advocate for mental health in the NBA and beyond. The Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA are partners of the TAPS Sports & Entertainment Department.
- New Pentagon team is going to take on racial justice in military
On day 23 of nationwide protests against police brutality and racial inequality in America’s justice system, the Pentagon began an initiative to take a look at those issues in its own backyard.
- This is how the Air Force prevented a coronavirus outbreak at basic military training
The USAF Air and Education Training Command has decreased class sizes, the length of training, instituted deep-cleaning protocols, mandatory mask usage and cots arranged with pillows alternating on the left or right, along with modifying the uniform issue process, in order to prevent an outbreak.
- USS Theodore Roosevelt Aviators Eject Safely At Sea
(Task & Purpose)
Two naval aviators, assigned to Carrier Air Wing 11 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, ejected from their F/A-18 Super Hornet over the Philippine Sea on Thursday, while conducting routine pilot proficiency training, and were recovered safely by helicopter.
- The Army wants to bring in 10,000 new soldiers during a three-day recruiting spree
(Task & Purpose)
The Army is kicking off a three-day recruiting bonanza called Army National Hiring Days, during which they hope to bring in 10,000 new soldiers.
- For First Time in Decades, Female Soldier Completes Final Phase of Special Forces Training
A female National Guard soldier has successfully completed the final stage of the Army’s Special Forces Qualification Course (Q Course), but she's not a Green Beret yet.
- Maryland couple finds live WWI ordnance while digging in their flower bed
A Maryland couple working on their flower bed found quite a surprise Tuesday when they unearthed a WWI-era 37 MKI projectile at their home in Harford County.
- Despite steady rise in coronavirus cases, VA officials push ahead with return to normal operations
The number of Veterans Affairs patients with active cases of coronavirus rose to its highest level in three weeks on Thursday, but department officials insist the steady recent increase is not a cause for concern.
- Long-awaited report on veteran suicides calls for public awareness campaign, better research tools
After 15 months of work, the White House’s task force on preventing veteran suicides will unveil plans for more federal coordination with community providers on mental health outreach, promotion of “safe storage” programs for firearms owners and a public awareness campaign that mental health problems need not be fatal.
- The best Father’s Day gifts made by veterans
(We Are The Mighty)
Sunday, June 21 is Father's Day. Since we all know you forgot, we've compiled a list so good that you won't even mind paying the extra to get it there in time - all items are made by veterans.
Military Family News
- VA Reaches 1 Million Veterans and Family Members Through Tele-town Hall Meetings
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) has reached more than one million Veterans and family members through telephone town hall meetings held with states across the country.
- Supporting military children with the services they need, but lost in the pandemic
As the world faces an unprecedented public health crisis, Americans are witnessing the devastating impact of the coronavirus on daily life.These real-life adjustments can be difficult for any family, but they are exponentially more difficult for military families who have children and especially those raising kids with autism.
- Teen starts clothing brand to support ‘everyday heroes,’ gets licensing deal from Air Force, Coast Guard
A 16-year old Virginia native and creator of the “Do Work that Matters” merchandise began his business on the family farm and is now licensed by the U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard. He hopes to expand his brand to continue recognizing those who serve.
- Families of adults with special needs face unique challenges during pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought difficult decisions to families caring for adult children with special needs.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.