The TAPS Daily - June 5, 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.
- WHO changes COVID-19 mask guidance: Wear one if you can't keep your distance
The World Health Organization is broadening its recommendations for the use of masks during the coronavirus pandemic and is now advising that in areas where the virus is spreading, people should wear fabric masks when social distancing is not possible, such as on public transportation and in shops.
- Veterans cemeteries to resume some committal, memorial services next week
Veterans Affairs officials announced Friday they will resume committal services at most department cemeteries beginning next week and will resume full memorial services next month.
- Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Condemns Trump's Threat To Use Military At Protests
In rare public comments, the former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Ret. Gen. Martin Dempsey condemned Trump's threat to use military force to suppress nationwide protests as "dangerous" and "very troubling.”
- Coronavirus Cases Are Rising in More Than Half of All US States
Cases of the novel coronavirus continue to grow across the U.S., with over 1.8 million confirmed cases, including over 108,600 deaths, reported as of Friday.
- On sad anniversary, few to mourn the D-Day dead in Normandy
Saturday's anniversary will be one of the loneliest remembrances ever, as the coronavirus pandemic is keeping almost everyone away — from government leaders to frail veterans.
- Inseparable twin sisters start nursing career together at same hospital during pandemic
Lacie and Lauren Brown have never done anything apart. And that won't change as they embark on nursing careers amid the coronavirus crisis.
TAPS In the News
- Veterans' Affairs push to combat veteran unemployment
Members of Congress introduced legislation on Thursday to provide veterans with training for in-demand jobs to help veterans who are unemployed due to COVID-19. TAPS thanks Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and House Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) and House Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity Mark Levin (D-Calif.) for introducing this important legislation.
- 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
- Bill Provides Veterans Who Lost Jobs Amid Pandemic Education
Top Veterans Affairs lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Thursday introduced legislation aimed at helping veterans who have lost jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic. TAPS is supporting this important legislation.
- VA preparing for potential coronavirus 'rebound' in the fall
(Federal News Network)
As lawmakers attempt to return to some semblance of “normal” business in the summer months, Congress is contemplating just how it’ll possibly plan out a budget for the next year with all the unknowns of the ongoing pandemic.
- 230,000 veterans’ disability ratings are stuck in limbo due to COVID-19
(Task and Purpose)
Hundreds of thousands of veterans are stuck in limbo in regards to their disability compensation because the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has delayed compensation and pension (C&P) exams, which vets need to take in order to receive a disability rating.
- Service Members, Civilians Bound By DOD Rules During Election Campaigns
It's election season again, when federal, state and local political campaigns kick into high gear. Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper's latest ethics video lays out the importance of political activity rules that Defense Department civilian employees and service members must follow.
- To support military families, Senators Blumenthal and Kaine push to make child care more affordable
Affordable accessible childcare is so important and military families who have to contend with the constant instability that results from frequent moves need our support
- Military exchange, MWR operations hit hard by effects of pandemic
The military exchanges and services’ morale, welfare and recreation programs have taken a big financial hit that is straining their entire operations because of the effects of the pandemic.
- Veterans Treatment Courts go online to support Veterans during COVID-19 pandemic
To continue serving Veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic, Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) across the country have moved to services online.
- VA hospitals still an excellent choice for veterans
When comparing the entire group of VA medical centers to the entire group of comparators, VA medical centers as a whole performed the same or better than non-VA medical centers
- 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.
- Exchange shoppers generate $217M for military communities in 2019
(Dayton Daily News)
Service members, retirees, veterans and military families know it pays to shop their Exchange. In 2019, authorized Army & Air Force Exchange Service shoppers generated $217 million of critical support for military quality-of-life programs in the form of earnings-based dividends.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- Video: Save A Warrior Meditation
Save A Warrior™ (SAW) teaches veterans, first responders, and anyone interested in learning how to meditate and/or train others to meditate. This video recording discussion on how to meditate and/or train others to meditate to help reverse the effects of post traumatic stress, trauma and re-wire the brain.
- Military and Family Life - Non-medical Counseling
Military OneSource offers confidential, non-medical counseling services that cover a range of issues from marital conflicts and stress management to coping with loss. Sessions can take place in person, over the phone, or via secure video or online chat.
- Important updates to read during PTSD Awareness Month
The National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder has designated each June as PTSD Awareness Month. In conjunction with this observance, Healio Psychiatry has compiled a list of articles covering recent developments in PTSD research.
- What is trauma? What to know
(Medical News Today)
Psychological trauma is a response to an event that a person finds highly stressful. Examples include being in a war zone, a natural disaster, or an accident. Trauma can cause a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms.
- Local therapist explains PTSD during PTSD awareness month
While PTSD is highly stigmatized, it’s a natural reaction. It occurs in the limbic system of your brain as humans’ “fight or flight” response. PTSD occurs when that response doesn’t stop.
- Is It BPD or cPTSD?
Differentiating between borderline personality disorder and complex PTSD.
- A Thought Experiment for Understanding PTSD
So many people have asked me what it is like to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- It's Not Indulgent to Admit You've Been Struggling in Recent Months. It's Smart to Ask for Help
This unexpected squashing together of lives is like a functional MRI of our relationships with one another, and with ourselves. Wherever we go, there we are … day after day.
- How To Support Your Child’s Mental Health During Protests, A Pandemic, And More
Best practices for parents to follow at home during the current multiple crises facing our society and our children.
- I Lost My Mom 12 Years Ago. And No, I'll Never ‘Get Over’ It
You grow through the loss. You change. You adapt. But you don’t get over it.
- How virtual therapy apps are trying to disrupt the mental health industry
Lockdown and social-distancing measures have made accessing traditional care difficult or even impossible, as has the increased demand for help. Fortunately, virtual therapy apps offer a simple alternative, empowering the general public to access mental-health support without leaving their home.
- Defense Department coronavirus cases spiked this week, passing 10,000
The Pentagon is reporting 10,462 COVID-19 diagnoses as of Friday, meaning this week saw the biggest increase in cases since mid-April, the height of the Defense Department’s curve.
- Stop everything, and watch the likely next Air Force chief of staff's powerful statement on race
(Air Force Times)
Gen. Charles "CQ" Brown, current commander of Pacific Air Forces and the nominee to be the next chief of staff of the Air Force, released a heartfelt video Friday in which he spoke about the death of George Floyd and his own experiences as a black officer.
- Lightning Strike Injures 2 National Guard Members in D.C.
Two members of the South Carolina National Guard supporting law enforcement in Washington, D.C., were injured by lightning early Friday morning as storms swept across the region.
- Army grounds crew of helicopter that flew low over protests amid official investigation
(Task and Purpose)
The crew of an Army National Guard medical evacuation helicopter that hovered extremely low over protesters in Washington, D.C. on Monday has been grounded pending an investigation, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters on Friday.
- Army targets COVID-19 vaccine by end of year, human testing in summer
The global race to field a lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine may be nearing its last lap, as the Army aims for a vaccine by the end of this year to prevent the deadly virus, said the force’s top medical research officer.
- Report on Navy Carrier's COVID-19 Outbreak Being Prepped for Release
The Navy is preparing to publicly release the findings of an investigation it conducted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after the novel coronavirus swept through the crew of a deployed aircraft carrier, infecting more than 1,100 and killing one.
- Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group Heads Home After COVID-Extended Deployment
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is wrapping up a lengthy deployment that left some ships at sea for nine months as they were called on to respond to everything from Iranian aggression in the Middle East to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
- Air Force Preparing for Furloughed Commercial Pilots to Request Return to Duty
Nearly 200 pilots have chosen to stay in the U.S. Air Force as major airlines operate in a limited capacity during the COVID-19 outbreak, sharply reducing the number of commercial flights around the world.
- More states send Guard troops to D.C. despite mayor’s withdrawal request
There are now 5,100 National Guard troops activated in Washington, D.C. -- 1,200 from the D.C. National Guard and 3,900 from 11 other states -- and the city's mayor no longer wants them there.
- Washington Guardsmen Partner With Quinault Indian Nation
This type of teamwork was critical to forming the relations between the Washington National Guard and the Quinault Indian Nation. The foundation began when the tribe first requested assistance through the county and state emergency management process in early April.
- Airman Awarded Bronze Star for Providing Care to More than 600 Casualties in ISIS Fight
An Air Force surgical technician has been awarded the Bronze Star for his life-saving work providing care for more than 600 combat casualties while deployed to the Middle East last year.
- Veteran Unemployment Rate Drops in First Signs of Economic Rebound
Veteran unemployment rates fell in May by nearly three points to 9%, from 11.7% in April -- the first signs of an economic rebound from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Labor Department reported Friday.
- No D-Day veterans on Normandy beaches as anniversary events cancelled
For the first time in 75 years, there will be no D-day veterans on the beaches of Normandy to mark the anniversary of the allied landings.
Military Family News
- Dover Fisher House marks decade of providing refuge for families of the fallen
(We Are The Mighty)
The Fisher House at Dover is special for many reasons because "it was built to honor the ultimate sacrifices of those who wear the uniform."
- Military families face housing limbo during COVID-19 crisis
Some service members and their families are getting double-billed for what’s often their biggest expense: housing.
- Test Your D-Day Knowledge
See how much you know about the largest amphibious assault in history, a turning point for the U.S. and Allied forces in World War II.
- Exactly When And Where You Can See Friday’s ‘Strawberry Moon Eclipse’ And A Weird ‘Moon Illusion’
The full “Strawberry Moon” will rise on the evening of Friday, June 5, 2020 and will be the latest-rising, and among the largest-looking full Moons of 2020.
- Fedex Driver's Dogs Join Him On His Route After Their Doggy Daycare Closes
An adorable pair of dachshund dogs recently joined the elite rank of Fedex delivery drivers after the ongoing coronavirus outbreak closed down their doggy daycare.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.