The TAPS Daily - June 4, 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 to Hug During a Pandemic
(New York Times)
Of the many things we miss from our pre-pandemic lives, hugging may top the list. We asked scientists who study airborne viruses to teach us the safest way to hug.
- VA employees still waiting for coronavirus tests
Veterans Affairs officials acknowledged on Wednesday that they still lack enough testing supplies to provide on-demand coronavirus screening for all medical employees, despite past promises those services would be made available.
- How military veterans can cope with jobs and money despite COVID-19
More than 1 million vets filed for unemployment in April, sending the veteran unemployment rate soaring to 11.7%. They are also business owners who are struggling to survive, parents trying to send their children to college, retirees or nearing retirement, and potential homeowners trying to buy a house — all during unsettled times.
- What D-Day Means to For Us Today
(We Are The Mighty)
We are fortunate for the opportunities to joyfully explore the beauty of Europe, free of fascism, because of the bravery and sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of Allied forces.
- 12 Incredible Kids Doing Good Deeds During the Pandemic
While COVID-19 has rained on a lot of our parades, it hasn’t dampened the spirits of these 12 kids.
- These Dutch villagers wait years to adopt U.S. graves from World War II
(We Are The Mighty)
There are so many rich, incredible facts surrounding the World War II-era Netherlands American Cemetery near Maastricht.
TAPS In the News
- Detroit Lions say they'll be force for 'positive change' in Detroit community
(The Detroit News)
The team released a statement underscoring stressing “a responsibility to create positive change” and vowing to build on the team’s ongoing social justice initiatives locally.
- TAPS News Archive
Catch up on all the TAPS news stories over the years on the TAPS media resource page.
Government Relations / Benefits
- These ladies attend every funeral at Arlington so no one is buried alone
(We Are The Mighty)
Arlington National Cemetery averages upwards of 30 funerals per day. Present at every one of those is a woman escorted by a member of the service honor guard who bows to the grieving, hands them two notes, and is escorted away.
- Lawmaker Wants U.S. Attorney General to Intervene in Suspicious VA Deaths Probe
A third family has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs over the death of a veteran at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia, as an investigation into as many as 11 suspicious deaths enters its second year.
- Congress Bill Aims to Help Homeless Veterans During Pandemic
As the coronavirus pandemic continues in the United States, veteran advocates have increasingly warned that the economic downturn could lead to more homeless vets. But the Department of Veterans Affairs is limited in what help it can offer. VA even put out a public call for donations to help.
- Vets who lost jobs due to coronavirus could be eligible for new job training
A new bipartisan congressional plan would create a rapid retraining program for veterans who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, giving them potentially 12 months of courses in a “high demand” career field.
- Errors in Military Health Overhaul Plan Could Result in Some Losing Care, GAO Finds
An ongoing, massive overhaul of the Defense Health System that will send some non-military patients to civilian providers is built on incomplete or faulty data that could leave beneficiaries without access to quality care, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.<
- VA Engraves Controversial Motto in Bronze at All Cemeteries
In his Memorial Day message last month, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie announced that the department planned to install new bronze plaques engraved with the motto at all of it's more than 140 national veterans cemeteries later this year.
- VA partners with Bristol Myers Squibb to provide teleoncology services
The Department of Veterans Affairs is teaming with the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation to bring teleoncology programs to veterans, no matter where they live.
- Free Year of Linkedin Premium Now Available for Veteran Caregivers
Veteran caregivers are now among the group of military community members who can get a free, one year LinkedIn Premium subscription.
- VA Chaplains add new mission: tech support to keep Veterans connected
VA facility chaplains provide comfort, counsel, and connections to families by leveraging technology at VA Community Living Centers. For veterans living in these home-like assisted care centers, the temporary halt of in-person visits has prompted the use of tech to see family and friends.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- App - PTSD Coach
June is PTSD AwarenessMonth. Managing the stress and symptoms of PTSD is hard, but you are not alone. Take the PTSD Coach app’s self-assessment to find strategies and support.
- Waking Up With Anxiety? 11 Morning Anxiety Coping Tips
We asked therapists how to cope when you can’t help but start each day feeling anxiety over the current state of the world.
- What You Need to Know If Your Partner Has Anxiety, According to a Therapist
Being in a relationship with someone who is dealing with anxiety can be a challenge, but these tips will help you be the best partner possible.
- Why singing in lockdown is so good for our mental health
Singing is therapeutic for everyone – no matter how good your voice is.
- Is Information Overload Hurting Mental Health?
Endless access to information during COVID-19 might be making matters worse.
- An expert reveals how to cope with anxiety about reopening after coronavirus crisis
As states continue to reopen following coronavirus-related shutdowns, many are finding they’re not as excited as they expected to be but are instead feeling anxious and conflicted.
- Stargazing can provide needed anxiety relief during NJ coronavirus stress
Their universality is inspiring. We all have the stars in common. They bind together people of distant lands, and differing beliefs.
- Link between anxiety and alcohol abuse identified
Identified for the first time, these sections of DNA may act as future drug targets for the development of precision medicines to treat alcohol abuse and anxiety in men.
- Message From Army Leadership to the Army Force Regarding its Continued Support to Civil Authorities
“Our ability to defend this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic, is founded upon a sacred trust with the American people.”
- Message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
“Current events are a stark reminder that it is not enough for us to remove symbols that cause division — rather, we also must strive to eliminate division itself.”
- Chief, Naval Operations Message to Sailors
“We can’t be under any illusions about the fact that racism is alive and well in our country. And I can’t be under any illusions that we don’t have it in our Navy.”
- Air Force Chief of Staff Message on Death of George Floyd
(Air Force Magazine)
“We all wish it were not possible for racism to occur in America . . . But it does, and we are at a moment where we must confront what is.”
- General Joseph Lengyel, Chief National Guard Bureau Message to Soldiers and Airmen
“We must do better.”
- United States Space Force Senior Leadership Addresses Racism and Oath of Service
(Air Force Magazine)
“The tragic death of George Floyd is wrong and goes against the founding principles of our it also serves as a stark reminder that racism and the unequal treatment is a reality for many and a travesty for all.”
- Historical National Guard Call Up for Civil Unrest, COVID-19
At least 75,000 National Guardsmen have been called up in a historical deployment to the twin national crises in America this year -- the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest in cities across the country.'
- Pandemic Response Demands a New Look at the Restructuring of Military Medicine
What can military medical policymakers learn from the outbreak of, and national response to, the novel coronavirus? It is a question that could take years to answer and touch every part of the military health system.
- Acting with Their Heart:' How the Air Force Led the Services in Talking About Race
The Air Force approach to the issue has been hailed by many as an example of strong military leadership.
- Army: Esper reverses plan to send back active-duty troops brought in to support D.C. region amid protests
In an abrupt reversal, Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday overturned an earlier Pentagon decision to send a couple hundred active-duty soldiers home from the Washington, D.C., region, amid growing tensions with the White House over the military response to the protests.
- National Guard patrols torn California streets amid unrest
More than 2,400 California National Guard soldiers toting military assault rifles are on the streets and authorities say that has allowed police officers to crack down on the rampant vandalism and thievery that scarred the first several days of demonstrations.
- Detained U.S. Navy Veteran Freed by Iran, En Route Home
A Navy veteran detained in Iran for nearly two years has been released and started making his way home, with the first leg on a Swiss government aircraft, U.S. officials said Thursday. “The nightmare is over,” his mother said.
- 99-year-old veteran who beat COVID-19 surprises granddaughter on wedding day
(Good Morning America)
A 99-year-old veteran and coronavirus survivor healed just in time to celebrate his granddaughter's wedding day.
- Air Force Academy band celebrates veteran's 100th birthday
Reaching 100 years old is a special occasion for anybody but for one veteran of the U.S. Air Force, his birthday was extra special.
- Marine veteran adopts dog who saved his life in Afghanistan
A black Labrador retriever named Blue has saved Byung “BK” Kang’s life so many times, he’s lost count.
Military Family News
- Exceptional Family Member Program Parents Have New Online Tool
The Office of Special Needs, part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, has launched an online tool specifically designed for military families in the Exceptional Family Member Program.
- Talking to Aging Parents About Moving In With Your Family
(We Are The Mighty)
This is an emotional realization for the whole family. Having grandma or grandpa move in isn't a simple transition for all parties. It involves issues of space, money, privacy, freedom, and ego.
- Zama Middle High School Celebrates Modified Prom
With this year's prom canceled due to COVID-19, there was no dancing, no crowd and no fancy gowns or tuxedos, but the members of Zama Middle High School's court still smiled, thankful the school managed to maintain a few prom traditions.
- COVID-19 Can Last for Several Months
The disease’s “long-haulers” have endured relentless waves of debilitating symptoms—and disbelief from doctors and friends.
- COVID-19 and Animals
If you have COVID-19 or think you may have it, avoid contact with pets just like with human family members. Have another member of your household care for your pet, if possible. Learn more about what to do if you have pets.
- COVID-19 Puts National WWII Museum 20th Anniversary Online
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.
- The NBA has approved a plan to continue the season with 22 teams
The NBA's Board of Governors approved a plan on Thursday that would restart the season in Orlando utilizing a 22-team format, according to the league.
- Astronauts ring Nasdaq opening bell from space after historic SpaceX launch
Three NASA astronauts rang in the opening of Nasdaq trading from the International Space Station Tuesday (June 2) to celebrate the historic flight of SpaceX's first crewed Dragon spacecraft over the weekend.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.