The TAPS Daily - June 23, 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.
- Fauci: We need more testing, not less
Anthony Fauci on Tuesday said the nation needs to do more testing for the coronavirus, adding that to his knowledge, he and other top administration officials have never been told to slow down testing, as President Trump suggested during a campaign event on Saturday.
- End of lockdown around Memorial Day add up to increase in coronavirus cases, experts say
Health experts attribute the recent spike in coronavirus cases across the country to the loosening of lockdown measures Memorial Day.
- College students could be leaving up to $5,000 in coronavirus stimulus money on the table
Billions of dollars in stimulus set aside for America’s college students impacted by the pandemic remains largely untapped, partially because students may have been unaware they were eligible.
- Swamped mental health and addiction services appeal for COVID bailout
Mental health and addiction treatment centers and counselors have been overwhelmed with work during the pandemic and economic crash. But many are struggling to stay afloat amid confusion and delays over the federal bailout for the healthcare industry.
- Police Are the First to Respond to Mental Health Crises. They Shouldn’t Be.
The police are our de facto first responders for the mentally ill, when too often this ends up criminalizing mental health issues, making people sicker, or killing them.
- It may be called the 'Forgotten War,' but the Korean conflict set the stage for decades of tensions
(Stars and Stripes)
As the 70th anniversary of the June 25 start of the Korean war approaches, here’s a look at the war and its lasting impact on the Koreans and the United States.
TAPS In the News
- Trump rolls out national plan to address veteran suicides
Kim Ruocco, a vice president for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a group that supports those who have lost loved ones in the military to suicide, told ABC News the plan represented "a good starting point."
- TAPS News Archive
Catch up on all the TAPS news stories over the years on the TAPS media resource page.
Government Relations / Benefits
- Active coronavirus cases at VA have more than doubled since the start of June
(Stars and Stripes)
The VA started the month with fewer than 1,000 patients remaining sick with COVID-19. In recent weeks, however, cases have climbed by nearly 150%.
- VA eyes expanding remote medical care options, but advocates warn of worrisome gaps
Veterans Affairs health officials have seen dramatic increases in telehealth use since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but they think it can get even bigger.
- Trump threatens prison for protesters toppling statues, citing veterans memorial protections
President Donald Trump this week threatened a decade of jail time for protesters defacing and toppling statues on federal lands, citing a little known law designed to punish vandalism at American veteran cemeteries.
- House Lawmakers Want to Pause Military Health System Overhaul
A bipartisan House Armed Services panel is seeking to delay several Defense Department health system reforms until the Pentagon provides Congress with updates on its medical staffing needs and plans to shift retirees and families to the Tricare health program. The Military Coalition, which TAPS is a member, sent a letter to Congress urging the pause in the military health system overhaul.
- Saudi Arabia Duty Now Comes with Extra Pay
Troops serving in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can now get $225 in extra pay each month thanks to a new change to the Pentagon’s Imminent Danger Pay (IDP) list.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- How To Stay Informed, But Protect Your Mental Health
It is very hard to balance informing yourself with the feelings you get when you watch the news. Here are a few questions that help you to know when news watching has become too much.
- To Process Grief over COVID-19, Children Need Empathetic Listening
Millions of kids are experiencing grief during this pandemic, not just those who know someone who died from the virus. Here’s how to help them feel heard and cope.
- Sleep Check-up
Sleep 101 is a short program designed to help you recognize the value of proper sleep, form better sleep habits and identify behaviors that interfere with sleep.
- Dog-walking intervention may reduce PTSD symptoms in military veterans
(News Medical Life Science)
A recent study provides evidence that walking with a shelter dog may affect psychological and physiological stress indicators in veterans.
- Four Ways To Lower Your Own Stress During A Crisis
All of us need to decrease our cortisol levels and find at least some peace within the chaos.Here are four ways to lower your stress during this current crisis and all crises.
- Not Sure What You're Feeling? Journaling Can Help
Expressive writing is associated with improvements in physical health, improvements in markers of mental health, immune function and working memory.
- Largest ever repatriation of South Korean soldiers' remains being held today
The soldiers’ remains are being returned to their homeland of South Korea after 67 years away, officials said.
- These sailors, Marines and civilians were recognized for response to Pensacola shooting
Twenty-five service members and civilians have been recognized in the past week for their actions in response to the December 2019 shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.
- Fort Bragg garrison commander relieved due to loss of trust
The Army colonel serving as garrison commander at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, has been relieved amid an ongoing investigation, officials said Monday night.
- The Army will soon allow users to access classified info from home
The decision to establish remote classified access comes as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep Americans working from home and military leaders prep for a second wave of the virus in the fall.
- Combat Patches Approved for U.S. Soldiers in Saudi Arabia Since Oil Facilities Attack
Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville approved the wearing of the shoulder sleeve insignia by soldiers who served in Saudi Arabia during the period beginning September 14, 2019.
- Senator pushes Medal of Honor upgrade for Marine who threw back enemy grenade in Vietnam
(Task & Purpose)
A former U.S. Marine sergeant’s actions in a 1966 battle in Vietnam should be considered for the Medal of Honor, according to a letter from a U.S. senator to the Secretary of the Navy.
- The remains of an Army corporal are finally returning home from Korea after more than 65 years
(Task & Purpose)
After more than 65 years, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has announced the remains of Army Corporal Billie Joe Hash will finally return to his hometown.
- Here’s a List of Colleges’ Plans for Reopening in the Fall
(Chronicle of Higher Education)
The Chronicle is tracking individual colleges’ plans for when and how those institutions will reopen their campuses in the fall in the wake of COVID-19.
- Incredible moment: NASCAR pushes Wallace's car
The entire field of NASCAR drivers participating at the Talladega Superspeedway pushed Bubba Wallace's No. 43 car to the front of the pack in a display of solidarity.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.