The TAPS Daily - June 8, 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.
- DoD Hotline Gets Flood of COVID-19 Exposure Complaints
In just one month of the novel coronavirus pandemic, a Defense Department hotline created to report legal violations, fraud and abuse received nearly 150 complaints alleging improper protective protocols to stop the spread of the disease.
- As more Americans head out, 22 states are seeing jumps in new coronavirus cases
While states lift more restrictions and more Americans go out to socialize or protest, almost half of US states are seeing higher rates of new coronavirus cases. But the situation would have been much worse had states not shut down, a new study says.
- Pride Month: taking care of veterans, celebrating those who served
(We Are The Mighty)
Veterans with LGBT and related identities are less likely to seek out routine health care, largely due to fear of discrimination. This can lead to long-term health problems. VA is working to create an environment where these veterans feel comfortable visiting and talking openly with providers.
- Rooting for the Home Team: D.C. Air National Guard F-16 Gets a Baseball Makeover
As stay-in-place orders start to lift, giving hope that air shows and sporting events might resume, the District of Columbia Air National Guard is debuting a special paint job on an F-16 Fighting Falcon in honor of the home team.
- How to Celebrate Flag Day with Kids
Flag Day, which conveniently coincides with the Army's birthday, is one of those holidays that we love. It gives us a good reason to fly our flag proudly and to display our Americana décor. It's also a great opportunity to teach our children all about Old Glory.
TAPS In the News
- Volunteer Provides Financial Education to Communities & Families of America's Fallen Heroes
(Points of Light)
Bank of America employee volunteers her time with TAPS teaching financial literacy courses primarily targeting young adults.
- TAPS News Archive
Catch up on all the TAPS news stories over the years on the TAPS media resource page.
- Treating Yourself | TAPS Saturday Morning Message
Self-care has evolved over time, read some simple ways to accomplish it during this difficult time.
Government Relations / Benefits
- Services Suspended by COVID-19 Resume At National Cemeteries
Committal and memorial services will resume at all but two Department of Veterans Affairs national cemeteries on Tuesday, June 9.
- Schumer, Pelosi call on Trump to reopen Lafayette Square from 'militarized zone'
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) are demanding President Trump reopen Lafayette Square to the public, saying it currently resembles a "militarized zone."
- Key debate on military protest response, budget priorities set to happen behind closed doors on Capitol Hill
The biggest defense news on Capitol Hill this week will be taking place behind the scenes rather than in public view, as lawmakers grapple with the military’s response to recent nationwide protests and their own plans for next year’s Pentagon budget.
- Plan to pull American troops from Germany worries U.S. lawmakers
A key House ally of President Donald Trump and other congressional lawmakers criticized reported White House plans to withdraw thousands of U.S. service members from Germany, calling it a short-sighted decision which will hurt military readiness.
- Travel restrictions lifted by DoD at these states and host nations
The Pentagon has released an updated list of locations, both stateside and overseas, that meet the Defense Department’s conditions to lift travel restrictions, officials said in a news release Monday.
- No On-Demand COVID Testing for Veterans Affairs Staff Yet
VA has so far tested about 12 percent of its staff, Veterans Health Administration head Dr. Richard Stone told lawmakers.
- Military Spouse Employment Resource Center
Recruit Military's Military Spouse Employment Resource Center is a one-stop-shop for military spouses for info on remote work opportunities, resume guidance, interview prep, & more.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- Prince William has been secretly volunteering for a mental crisis hotline
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, revealed he has secretly been volunteering to assist people struggling with mental health issues during the coronavirus lockdown.
- These are challenging times — here’s how to get free mental health assistance
From therapy to coping mechanisms, here are some free and low-cost resources that can help you during this time.
- Negative thinking linked to dementia in later life, but you can learn to be more positive
A new study found that repetitive negative thinking in later life was linked to cognitive decline and greater deposits of two harmful proteins responsible for Alzheimer's disease.
- Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury
(Make The Connection)
Traumatic brain injury can be mild to severe & affect many different areas of life. The good news: there are treatment options, self-help tools & resources to manage the effects.
- Moving Past Stigma
(You Matter - Suicide Prevention Lifeline)
One in five people will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, and it’s important not only to talk about it, but to remind others that they are not alone and deserve to be heard and receive care.
- The kids are okay? Make mental health a priority at home.
(Orange County Register)
Stay-at-home orders, school closures, summer camp delays and social distancing are leaving everyone more stressed these days. How should parents help their children navigate through this pandemic without frightening them?
- 4 ways families can ease anxiety together
During these turbulent times, the stress on families is palpable. Parents and children alike are feeling understandably anxious about their futures.
- Help Workers Combat Stress And Anxiety With Games
With its many health and psychological benefits, the importance of playing games is even more apparent in our lives.
- Collective mourning, grief missing from pandemic’s wake
One big thing that seems to be missing from this entire experience is any collective sense of grief and mourning.
- Here's where commissary customers may find a silver lining in the pandemic
“If there was ever a time that the military resale system in general rose to the occasion, it was really during this pandemic event.”
- National Guardsmen Returning Home After D.C. Mission
All out-of-state National Guardsmen will be returning home after accomplishing their missions in the nation's capital, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters.'
- It's a Little Conflicting:' Guard Troops Hold the Line on Fellow Citizens in D.C.
Military.com spent Wednesday night in the city, speaking with troops about the uncommon mission -- one a senior defense official earlier that day described as the least desired of all in the Guard portfolio.
- National Guard Soldier eases tensions with protesters in Minnesota
“We’re on the same team,” he said he told the protester. “This is Minnesota’s Army. We’re not some outside force that just came in here. We’re here for the people of the great state of Minnesota.”
- Delaware National Guard Checks Thousands in COVID-19 Testing Mission
The Delaware National Guard continues its community-based testing mission, which has enabled thousands of Delawareans to get checked for COVID-19.
- Pennsylvania Guard Launches COVID-19 Testing Task Force
The Pennsylvania National Guard has assembled a task force to conduct point prevalence sampling at nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the commonwealth.
- NY National Guard repairs World War I Soldier's grave marker
The gravestone of a New York National Guard Soldier who died while storming the Hindenburg Line more than 100 years ago was set right the day after Memorial Day 2020 by present-day members of the regiment he served with during World War I.
- Coast Guard Helicopter Crew Remembers Humboldt Bay
The Coast Guard is honoring four of its crew members who were lost at sea 23 years ago off the coast of San Mendocino, California.
- Army Veteran is unsung hero in COVID-19 battle
North Las Vegas VA housekeeper protects veterans in emergency dept. from risk of infection.
- Army veteran creates patch to honor healthcare workers
An Army veteran has created a patch to honor the sacrifices of medical professionals and support staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Medal of Honor Monday: Army Maj. Alfred Rascon
When you join the military, you don't always get the job of your choice. Army Spc. 4th Class Alfred Rascon didn't choose to be a medic when he joined the Army. But he did as he was assigned, and he did so with such distinction in Vietnam that, after a years-long push by fellow platoon members, he earned the Medal of Honor.
- One Of Nation's First Black Marines Dies At 94
(Task and Purpose)
The first African American Marines started training at Montford Point, N.C. They faced many obstacles while in the Corps and were honored with the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal.
- Army's XVIII Airborne Corps Highlights Black D-Day Hero Denied Medal of Honor
The Army element known as "America's Contingency Corps" marked the 76th anniversary of D-Day by telling the story of a black veteran of that battle who died without ever receiving the full hero's recognition he deserved.
- A Marine vet stood in silent protest outside the Utah Capitol so long that his shoes melted
(Task and Purpose)
Todd Winn, a U.S. Marine veteran, made a powerful statement while supporting the Black Lives Matter movement on Friday, standing alone in full dress uniform in front of the Utah Capitol as temperatures rose to 100 degrees.
Military Family News
- Military spouses across the U.S. organize and march in support of Black Lives Matter
From Anchorage to California to Omaha to Washington, DC, small groups of military spouses and family members joined peaceful protests this weekend, often marching by uniformed National Guard on the parade route.
- 'Born to be a Marine' — Massachusetts graduate is eighth from family to join the Corps
(Task and Purpose)
When he reports to Parris Island later this month, Jack Ottino will be the eighth Ottino from his family to join the Corps. He even talked his longtime buddy into becoming a Marine.
- How Navy spouse ultra marathoner kept running during lockdown in Italy
(We Are The Mighty)
The original plan was to run a marathon every day until people could run outside again. "Then I started looking up what the world record is for consecutive days running a marathon, and I started getting closer and closer to that and thinking, 'Oh, this is a possibility.'"
- It's official: The U.S. entered a recession in February
The U.S. is officially in a recession, bringing an end to a historic 128 months of economic growth, after the coronavirus pandemic swept the country and shut down the economy.
- WHO official: Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus 'very rare'
A top World Health Organization official on Monday said that it appears “very rare,” for an asymptomatic person with coronavirus to transmit the virus to another person, a potential bit of good news in the fight against the virus.
- Sunday marked new global peak for coronavirus
More than 136,000 people tested positive for the coronavirus across the globe on Sunday, a new apex that has officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) warning that the worst of the pandemic is still ahead.
- MLB owners propose a 76-game season, per report
Major League Baseball is proposing a 76-game season in the league's latest idea to save the 2020 season, per ESPN. The report details the latest proposal by the owners sent to the players’ union Monday morning.
- 8 Tips to Help Your Budget
Perhaps you're looking to take advantage of the slower summer season, an upcoming move or the fact that you aren't eating out right now to save more money. There are several ways you can cut expenses. Here are some suggestions.
- 8 Ways to Volunteer Virtually in Quarantine
Physical distancing doesn’t have to prevent us from making a difference for those who need it most.
- How to Celebrate Kids' Birthdays During Social Distancing and COVID-19
The new coronavirus may have canceled their plans, but these families still made birthdays wonderful.
- Safe Indoor And Outdoor Activities For Families In The Time Of Coronavirus
(Center for Discovery)
If you want to keep the phones, tablets, computers and gaming systems to a minimum – other than for the purposes of online learning – we’ve compiled some great ideas for you and your children of all ages and complexities.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.