The TAPS Daily - June 3, 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.
- How veterans can offset COVID financial hit threatening their retirement
15% of veterans work in industries hit hardest by the financial impact of the coronavirus. Some of them also rely on personal investments for their retirement, and wonder how to weather recent market volatility.
- Historic nomination of first black service chief to move forward after lawmaker lifts secret hold
The U.S. Senate is poised to confirm the first black chief of a military service branch after weeks long hold on nomination.
- Esper Says He Opposes Sending Active-Duty Troops Into Streets to Quell Protests
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday issued a remarkably strong statement in apparent opposition to the president, saying he opposes invoking the Insurrection Act and sending active-duty troops into the streets at this time to quell violent protests.
- Former Joint Chiefs chairman blasts Trump and the portent of U.S. troops on American streets
Retired U.S. Navy admiral and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen spoke out Tuesday against the use of the National Guard and other personnel to clear protesters from outside the White House on Monday night before President Donald Trump walked over to the damaged St. John’s Church and held up a Bible for the cameras.
- Military children shouldn't be penalized for seeking mental health care, senators say
Senators are seeking to end “undue discrimination” against military dependents and civilians with prior mental health conditions who seek to enter the military.
- Woman who was the last person to receive a Civil War-era pension dies at age 90
Irene Triplett, daughter of Civil War veteran Mose Triplett, died Sunday following complications after surgery. She received a pension of $73.13 a month from the Department of Veterans Affairs for her father’s service, which began more than 155 years ago.
- WWII veteran brings uplifting message of patriotism to Utah on his ‘No Regrets Tour’
A 100-year old veteran is on a nationwide “No Regrets Tour” — a campaign to raise awareness about the dwindling number of WWII vets by visiting all 50 states and meeting with all 50 governors and sharing a message of patriotism to a country in need of a morale boost.
- Together Since 1952, A Couple Separated When Coronavirus Hits Gets A Happy Reunion
For the past month they've been consistently improving. Last Friday, they moved back to their apartment, welcomed warmly by other residents and staff. It's been a long two months.
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
- Millions Of Americans Skip Payments As Tidal Wave Of Defaults And Evictions Looms
Hardship programs appear to be helping many people pause payments and survive the economic shutdown so far. But not everybody is getting the help, and advocates see big potential trouble ahead.
- Senators take on some core issues for military families
Senators aim to get at the heart of some long-standing issues affecting military families, with a slew of proposed legislation addressing family readiness, child care and other concerns.
- Legislation Would Require GAO Report on TRICARE Lapses
Bipartisan legislation in the House would direct the Government Accountability Office to investigate lapses in TRICARE coverage often experienced by National Guard soldiers and airmen when they deploy overseas.
- Most military tenants have (most of) their rights now. Here’s what’s missing.
Most tenants in military privatized housing now officially have 14 of the 18 rights designed to ensure safe, quality and well-maintained homes, according to a memorandum sent to tenants this week.
- 21 senators urge Pentagon against military use to curb nationwide protests
Twenty-one Democrat and Independent senators on Wednesday called on the Defense Department not to use U.S. troops to quell the country-wide protests.
- Bills Would Ban Sale of Military Weapons to Police, Bar Deployment of Troops to Protests
Future amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act could put a stop to what some have called the militarization of police forces and bar leaders from turning to troops to respond to peaceful protests.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- A Patient's Guide: Understanding Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder
(Psychological Health Center of Excellence)
What types of traumatic events can cause PTSD? Which treatments are effective? Download “A Patient’s Guide: Understanding Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder” to learn more.
- Yes, You Can Have PTSD Even if You Weren't Violently Attacked
PTSD is a complex illness, and it’s accompanied by other myths and misconceptions.
- What it's like to have PTSD
Managing PTSD symptoms and their impact requires the support of loved ones and friends. If someone you care about has been through a traumatic incident, here’s what you should know and how you can help.
- How Feelings Charts Can Help Anxious Kids During the Pandemic
(We Are The Mighty)
Finding the language to help you and your child identify and communicate about what emotions they're feeling is crucial.
- Fear, Isolation, Depression: The Mental Health Fallout of a Worldwide Pandemic
Nationwide, mental health call and text centers, the first lines of defense for many people feeling jittery during a crisis, offer an early picture of how Americans are coping with the coronavirus pandemic.
- Grief in a Pandemic is Complicated — Here's How You Can Support Your Loved Ones
When our loved ones are grieving, the initial impulses are all physical — offer a hug, hold their hand, sit close in grief and maybe even share a tissue. But social distancing makes these simple gestures an impossibility.
- The Army Will Soon Have Female Grunts, Tankers in All Brigade Combat Teams
The U.S. Army announced recently that female soldiers will be integrated into all of its infantry and armor brigade combat teams (BCTs) by the end of the year.
- Trump signs order to extend federal deployments for National Guard on coronavirus missions
(Stars and Stripes)
President Donald Trump signed an order Tuesday night to extend the authorization for National Guard troops to deploy through Aug. 21 with federal funding in support of coronavirus missions.
- Active-duty troops deployed to D.C. region start to leave
Active-duty troops brought in to help if needed with the civil unrest in the nation’s capitol are beginning to return to their home base, after two days of more peaceful demonstrations in Washington, D.C., senior defense officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
- D.C. National Guard will investigate actions of its rotary aircraft during protest
As another night of protests kicked off in the nation’s capital on Tuesday, the D.C. National Guard confirmed it would be investigating the actions of its rotary aircraft after an unarmed Lakota helicopter was recorded hovering over protestors in an apparent attempt to disperse the crowd.
- Dozens of troops sounded off on the use of the military to help quell civil unrest. This is what they said.
With 30,000 National Guardsmen and 1,600 active-duty military police and infantrymen activated across the country to help local civilian authorities push back against protests, some American cities are going to be looking a lot like war zones.
- ‘Change is coming’ — How the Navy hopes to do a course correct amid COVID-19
(Task and Purpose)
The new vulnerability exposed by the coronavirus — that a single infected person could neutralize a multibillion-dollar asset for months — only added to the list of challenges facing the Navy.
- Policy Change Will End Accompanied Tours for Troops Deploying to Bahrain, Qatar
Troops deployments to the U.S. Central Command region will soon extend to yearlong, unaccompanied tours as the Defense Department continues to review how personnel are postured around the world, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday.
- Guam airman found unresponsive on base, pronounced dead
(Task and Purpose)
An American airman was found unresponsive in their quarters at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam on Wednesday, the public affairs office for the 36th Wing reported.
- America's most vulnerable veterans say they're trapped and isolated amid the COVID-19 pandemic
(Task and Purpose)
Diabled veterans are forced to make tough decisions about when to prioritize quality of life over health: Do you send your caretaker away out of an abundance of caution, and spend the next several hours stuck in your wheelchair, or in bed? Or do you risk getting sick?
- COVID-19: VA hospitals must learn from mistakes before reopening
As the United States begins to reopen after weeks of strict social distancing, the Department of Veterans Affairs, which oversees facilities nationwide, will face a choice that could impact the lives of thousands of VA workers and millions of veterans.
- Companies Can Succeed by Making a Workplace More Veteran Friendly
During any given year -- even the turbulent ones -- around 200,000 military members will separate and enter the civilian workforce, many for the first time. But that lack of experience is only in civilian jobs -- it's not a lack of experience in doing any job at all. A company can help veterans settle in and grow the mindset needed for success.
- Not even a severed arm could stop him from taking down Nazis — now his story is a graphic novel
The newest issue of “Medal of Honor,” a graphic series produced by the Association of the U.S. Army, spotlights the World War II heroics of Daniel Inouye through story-telling and visuals constructed by some of the comic industry’s top writers and artists.
- Newborn pony named in honor of World War II veteran who died of COVID-19
One of the newest Granite Staters will carry on the memory of a veteran lost to COVID-19 who lived at the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
- Veterans at home perform musical tribute to VA staff
Veterans around the nation performed virtually in a music video to pay homage to VA health care workers on the front lines helping to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Vietnam Veteram Cremains Found
The cremains of a Vietnam veteran who died of COVID-19 have been recovered after being temporarily lost in a United States Post Office facility.
Military Family News
- We All Know Military Kids Have Talent. Let's See It!
Military kids are the backbone of our families and often show us how resilient they are. During the coronavirus pandemic, they're missing out on recitals, performances and other opportunities to share their talents. In response, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation has stepped forward to host a Military Kids Have Talent virtual contest, a special opportunity just for milkids.
- Olympian Army spouse becomes Titan for the Central Region
(We Are The Mighty)
Chantae McMillian Langhorst is an Army spouse of two years, currently stationed in Georgia while her husband trains to be a helicopter pilot. She's also a mama to one-year-old Otto, Olympic athlete and just won the coveted title of "Titan" for the central region on NBC's the Titan Games, hosted by "The Rock" Dwayne Johnson.
- Coronavirus cases rise in U.S. south and west as crowded protests spark worries
Coronavirus cases continued to spread in parts of the American south and west in the past week as experts warn that packed protests could exacerbate the pandemic.
- CNN and 'Sesame Street' to host a town hall addressing racism
CNN and "Sesame Street" are refocusing their next town hall to address racism. The 60-minute special "Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism. A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Families" will air on Saturday, June 6, at 10 a.m. Eastern. The show will talk to kids about racism, the recent nationwide protests, embracing diversity and being more empathetic and understanding.
- Doctors And Dentists Say It's Safe To Come Back For In-Person Preventive Care
Many hospitals, clinics and dental offices in some places across the U.S. are beginning to open now for routine preventative care that was postponed in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. But still, patients wonder: Is it safe to go?
- Fauci predicts U.S. should have 100 million potential vaccine doses by end of year
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases explained Tuesday production on a vaccine would begin before it is known to work so it can be deployed quickly.
- Is travel safe? We interviewed experts on risks plus ideas on safe vacations during COVID-19
- (We Are The Mighty)
As states lift restrictions around the novel coronavirus, many of us are eagerly wondering: is it safe to travel right now? The answer depends on many variables, namely, how you plan to do so, where you want to go, the rates of infection in your chosen destination, and your anticipated behavior once you arrive.
- 5 things to do in quarantine to boost your IQ
(We Are The Mighty)
When every day feels like Wednesday, becoming one with your couch is tempting. Try these activities to stay sharp. If you do them every day, you may get out of quarantine smarter than you were before!
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.