The TAPS Daily - June 19, 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.
- Chief Master Sgt. JoAnne S. Bass named Air Force’s 19th Chief Master Sergeant
(United States Air Force)
Chief Master Sgt. JoAnne S. Bass was selected June 19 to become the 19th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, becoming the first woman in history to serve as the highest ranking non-commissioned member of a U.S. military service.
- Father’s Day: How To Cope When It’s Tough To Celebrate
Father’s Day is not a joy-filled occasion for everyone. The holiday can bring up painful emotions for anyone who has lost a dad, has a turbulent relationship with him or struggles with other forms of trauma related to fatherhood.
- The military’s rate of new coronavirus cases doubled this week
The Defense Department’s rate of new COVID-19 diagnoses shot up again this week, for the fifth week in a row, with 1,793 new cases ― a 16-percent increase, versus 9 percent the previous week.
- Juneteenth marks a momentous occasion for the military, too
Emancipation Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, and Black Independence Day — June 19 goes by many names. None are more famous than “Juneteenth.” On this day in 1865, Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery.
- How to minimize long-term effects of PTSD from COVID-19 pandemic
Research shows people quarantined for longer than 10 days show significantly higher post-traumatic stress symptoms than those isolated for a shorter period of time. June is PTSD Awareness Month.
- Lawmakers urge VA Sec to replace controversial Veterans Affairs motto, halt plans for plaques
Lawmakers are calling for Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to replace what they call an "outdated" and "exclusionary" VA motto and halt plans to memorialize it in bronze at all national veteran cemeteries across the country.
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
- Trump rolls out national plan to address veteran suicides
President Donald Trump and his administration on Wednesday rolled out the general contours of a plan to prevent military veterans and other Americans from dying by suicide, including increasing public awareness, improving training in workplaces and revamping how data on suicides is collected and used. Kim Ruocco, TAPS Vice-President Suicide Prevention and Postvention, is quoted in the article.
- Senators propose bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday
Juneteenth is currently recognized by 47 states and the District of Columbia as a state holiday or observance. Senators on Friday announced legislation to make Juneteenth, a widely observed holiday that marks the federal order to free slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865, a national holiday.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- Experts worry about pandemic's toll on mental health
Some mental health experts worry that pandemic-induced despair may trigger increased rates of suicide down the line. The link is uncertain since we’ve never experienced economic downturn woven together with a pandemic.
- If COVID-19 is an earthquake, the mental health aftershocks have only just begun
(The Philadelphia Inquirer)
If COVID-19 is viewed as an earthquake, then mental health effects are the aftershocks.
- 44 Mental Health Resources for Black People Trying to Survive in This Country
Here’s a list of resources that may help if you’re looking for mental health support that validates and celebrates your Blackness. There is solidarity and support out there if you need help processing what’s happening (and there’s nothing weak about needing it, either).
- The World Is Watching: Can We Finally Address Our Nation’s Youth Mental Health Crisis?
(The Chronicle of Social Change)
There is a real threat of a “plague of mental illness” in children. And the pandemic will only exacerbate a problem that already existed.
- 10,000 more cancer deaths predicted because of COVID-19 pandemic
One of the nation's leading voices on cancer predicts the number of people who will die from breast or colorectal cancer in the U.S. will increase by nearly 10,000 over the next decade because of COVID-19's impact on oncology care.
- DoD reports would be public under new amendment to must-pass defense bill
All unclassified Pentagon reports ordered by Congress could be made public under an amendment Rep. Jackie Speier will propose to the annual defense policy bill.
- Army starts ‘comprehensive’ look at racial disparity in its justice system
An Army assessment began last week to examine racial disparity within its justice system, the service’s judge advocate general said Tuesday during a congressional hearing.
- 'Every single one of us will miss him' — Army command sergeant major dies in Virginia
(Task & Purpose)
Army Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Schmitz of Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) died on Tuesday in Fairfax County, Virginia, the Army confirmed.
- The Air Force has averaged one aircraft mishap every week since the beginning of May
(Task & Purpose)
The Air Force has had six aviation mishaps across its aircraft since the beginning of May, averaging one mishap each week.
- These F-35 pilots are the first to graduate from TOPGUN
The first F-35C Lightning II pilots have graduated from the Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor course ― best known as TOPGUN ― and are back in the fleet training others, according to the Navy.
- Marines Warned to Stay Away from Protests That Could Turn Violent
As protesters continue taking to the streets to push for police reform and an end to racism in the U.S., Marines are getting reminders about what type of participation is -- and isn't -- allowed while in uniform.<
- “5 Lessons the U.S. Military Learned From the Pandemic”
(Duke University: Lawfire)
Since the Covid-19 pandemic started spreading in the United States, Pentagon leaders have been scrambling to adjust and adapt their three workforces that total four million people.
- The Crisis of COVID-19 for Military Caregivers
Even before this pandemic, most of America's 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers -- the spouses, mothers, dads and other loved ones caring for our wounded warriors at home -- lacked a meaningful support network. Now, the novel coronavirus pandemic has struck our country hard and turned their already chaotic worlds upside down.
- World War II forces sweetheart singer Vera Lynn dies at 103
Dame Vera Lynn, the endearingly popular “Forces’ Sweetheart” who serenaded British troops during World War II, has died at 103.
- 3 Black service members who helped shape U.S. history
(Task & Purpose)
From the American Revolution and beyond, Black service members have had an irreplaceable role in the trajectory and success of the United States military.
Military Family News
- Military families feeling the pinch during pandemic
(Federal News Network)
The financial and economic effect of the pandemic and government-ordered shutdowns has hit career military families, no less than anyone else. A big reason is job losses among military spouses.
- Here’s some advice for military parents with extra worries about kids’ fall education
Many military parents are dealing with concerns about their children’s education in the era of coronavirus, and moving to a new duty station may only compound those worries and the uncertainty.
- Christian McCaffrey teams with dad to give Father's Day surprise to military members
Carolina running Christian McCaffrey and his father Ed, who played 13 years as a receiver in the NFL, partnered with USAA and the USO of North Carolina to surprise an active-duty father and daughter. USAA is a dedicated supporter of TAPS and the Carolina Panthers have partnered with TAPS to honor families during the NFL’s Salute to Service.
- Brazilian care home create plastic 'hug tunnel' that enables loved ones to embrace elderly relatives
A care home for elderly people in southern Brazil has come up with a creative way to bring some love to its residents amid the coronavirus pandemic, by creating a "hug tunnel" that allows relatives to safely embrace them.
- Summer camp has changed: 8 things parents should know about camps during COVID
Summer camps are opening, but they're going to look different. Here's what to expect.
- How to watch this weekend's rare solstice "ring of fire" solar eclipse
The summer solstice is nearly here, and with it comes a rare celestial phenomenon. The first solar eclipse of the decade promises to create a rare "ring of fire" — just in time to kick off the start of a new season.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.