The TAPS Daily - June 9, 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.
- It’s Official: Gen. CQ Brown Confirmed as 1st African American Military Service Chief
Air Force Gen. Charles "CQ" Brown is officially the next leader of the U.S. Air Force and the first African American officer to ever serve as the top uniformed officer of any of the military branches.
- Fauci: Coronavirus is a "nightmare" and "isn’t over yet"
NIAID Director Anthony Fauci called the coronavirus outbreak his "worst nightmare" and sounded the alarm over its continued spread in an interview aired to a biotechnology conference on Tuesday, the New York Times reports.
- Plan would extend Tricare coverage for dependents to age 26 without additional costs
A new House plan would extend Tricare coverage for dependents up to age 26 without any premium increases in an effort to help military families deal with the financial effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
- A look back, and follow-up, on coronavirus good-deed tales
One Good Thing, each day. That was the guiding principle when The Associated Press launched this fixture in mid-March. Nearly three months later, there’s been no end to the tales of good deeds we’ve found.
- The deafening silence of veteran service organizations on Black Lives Matter
(Task and Purpose)
A huge number of corporations and nonprofits have made vigorous statements affirming their stances on this issue. But noticeably lagging in leadership in this profoundly important moment have been the ‘big six’ veteran service organizations (VSOs) that have mostly chosen not to address the issue of racism in America and in the veteran community.
- Small biz owners just got more time to use their PPP loans
The rules small business owners need to follow in order to get their federal loans forgiven just got more lenient under the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act. But they may also have gotten a bit more complicated too.
- Marine recognized for performing CPR, saving life of unresponsive man at Walmart gas station
When Marine Corps Cpl. Matthew Ubl saw an unresponsive man at a Walmart gas station last December, he knew just what to do.
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
- ER Visits at VA Medical Centers Have Fallen Sharply, and Scientists Are Concerned
Admissions to the Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers for emergency health conditions dropped 42% in the first five weeks of the pandemic compared to the month before, according to research published Friday by scientists at New York University and Mount Sinai medical schools in New York.
- Key Senate panel approves 3 percent pay raise for troops next year
A key Senate panel on Tuesday approved a 3 percent pay boost for troops starting next January, with bipartisan support for the idea.
- VA's protective equipment supplies inadequate for second wave of coronavirus, officials warn
Veterans Affairs’ top health official said the current 30-day supply of personal protective equipment is about half what he wants it to be and about five months less than what will be needed if the coronavirus pandemic has a second wave in the fall.
- Trust in VA Now at an All-Time High, VA Says
The level of trust veterans have in the medical care they receive at the Department of Veterans Affairs has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic, averaging nearly 90% for the first time since the department began soliciting feedback in late 2017.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- IAVA Urges Trump Admin to Release Suicide Prevention Plan
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are calling on a presidential task force to release its national suicide prevention plan, particularly in light of a spike in mental health needs during the pandemic.
- Why We Need to Know About Post-Traumatic Growth
Physical, mental, emotional, and financial stress are a part of everyday life. Here is a closer look at a few ways to overcome these difficulties and the concept of Post Traumatic Growth.
- Register to watch 'The mental health of America's veterans'
On June 15, the Foreign Policy program at Brookings will host a conversation on the mental health challenges facing America’s veterans and the public policy tools needed to bring them the care they need and deserve.
- Addressing the Coming PTSD Wave
(US News & World Report)
Health workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic may suffer mental scars for years to come.
- Free mindfulness classes for kids' mental health
Children are dealing with real mental health impacts from COVID-19. The nonprofit Mindful Kids offers a series of free mindfulness classes online to help them cope with stress and fear.
- The Army Will Consider Renaming Bases that Honor Confederate Leaders
The Army secretary is open to changing the names of 10 Army bases that were named for Confederate leaders, Military.com has confirmed.
- CDC study: Lower COVID-19 infection rate for TR sailors who wore face coverings and social distanced.
A test group of sailors assigned to the stricken aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt reported lower infection rates among those who wore face masks, avoided common areas when possible and practiced social distancing, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Tuesday.
- Navy investigation finds 60 percent of USS Theodore Roosevelt volunteers have COVID-19 antibodies
(Task and Purpose)
A U.S. Navy investigation into the spread of the coronavirus aboard the Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier has found that about 60 percent of the roughly 400 sailors tested had antibodies for the virus, three U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday.
- More Than 8,500 Airmen Have Volunteered to Join Space Force
Officials announced Tuesday that thousands of airmen across 13 eligible officer and enlisted career fields have signed up to move permanently into the newest military branch.
- Camp Lejeune Marine died last month during PT event
Pfc. Ethan Moores, a machine gunner with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2d Marine Division, died last month after a physical training event at Camp Lejeune, according to the Marine Corps.
- Young soldier's training death preventable, requires immediate reforms, lawmaker tells SECDEF
A 20-year-old infantryman’s death while training in South Korea last fall was “very preventable," a Florida congressman said this week after sending a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper outlining his concerns.
- Air Force identifies airman found unresponsive in Guam
(Task and Purpose)
An American airman who died in Guam last week was identified as Airman 1st Class Christopher "Harrison" Fay of the 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron on Tuesday.
- Make a difference in the health care of female Veterans today
Help VA continue to provide high-quality women’s health care to the nation’s female Veterans, the fastest growing demographic.
- WWII, Korean War veteran survives COVID-19 and receives overdue medals at Maine Veterans' Home
Don Staples sat at attention in his wheelchair, quietly reflected on the moment and later said, “It was an honor just to be allowed to serve.
- Legendary Utah veterans advocate dies in home that bears his name
One of the greatest advocates for Utah veterans died last week in the veterans home that bears his name. William E. Christoffersen died due to complications with COVID-19 in the midst of an outbreak at the facility.
- This Veteran-Owned Coffee Company Wants to Change How You Drink Coffee
The folks behind Ubora see coffee as a high-end luxury drink -- one that you should taste before adding cream and sugar.
Military Family News
- New Salesforce Fellowship Open to Military Spouses and Veterans
In a proactive approach to current military spouse unemployment rates, as well as the huge wave of more than one million veterans who filed for jobless benefits last month, Hiring our Heroes (HoH) and Salesforce have joined together to support military spouse employment with a new fellowship program.
- Listen: Why the Virus Is Spreading So Unevenly
The pandemic isn’t going away, and its growth is hard to predict.
- Disney uses stormtroopers to enforce social distancing, but it’s actually fine
(We Are The Mighty)
It sounds scary, but it's actually a pretty clever public information campaign.
- Grads Receive Diplomas Aboard Jet Skis After High School Refuses to Cancel Commencement Ceremony
(Good News Network)
Despite how the novel coronavirus shutdowns have canceled thousands of commencement ceremonies around the world, this Florida school found a creative way of celebrating their senior students while still respecting social distancing.
- Is it safe to fly again? Here's how airport screenings are changing
U.S. airlines and the TSA are implementing health and safety measures to make passengers feel more comfortable flying in the coronavirus era.
- Virtual vacation: Take a luxury safari from the comfort of your couch
(Good Morning America)
With so many travelers canceling or postponing in-person trips, travel companies are more likely than ever before to bring their offerings online.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.