The TAPS Daily - May 1, 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.
- Here are the routes for the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds' formation flights this weekend
(Air Force Times)
The Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds have released the flight routes for their flyovers this weekend in Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Atlanta. The joint effort from the Navy and the Air Force is part of multiple flyovers across the nation called America Strong — a “collaborative salute” to honor healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential workers as they combat COVID-19.
- Kentucky Derby Triple Crown Showdown: Post positions, betting odds
Derby Day has gone virtual this year with a virtual party featuring recipes for traditional Kentucky Derby foods and cocktails, printable decorations, at-home fashion tips, kids crafts and more followed by a virtual showdown that pits all 13 Triple Crown winners against each other.
- Coronavirus help: Prince Harry launches mental-health relief service
The Duke of Sussex and the British Ministry of Defence on Friday launched a new online platform of resources to help troops deal with mental-health problems, including consequences of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. TAPS has partnered with charities important to Prince Harry including the Invictus Games and The Diana Award and was an honored guest at his wedding.
- USAA to return an additional $280 million to auto policy holders as virus lockdowns continue
(Stars and Stripes)
An additional $280 million will be returned to USAA auto policy holders amid continued coronavirus lockdowns, the company announced late Thursday afternoon. This brings the company’s total rebates since the start of the pandemic to $800 million. USAA Life Company and USAA Investment Management Company, Brandon Carter, serves on the TAPS Board of Directors and USAA is a strong supporter of TAPS.
- Veteran trust in VA health care rises above 90 percent for the first time
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today released survey results showing Veteran trust in VA health care outpatient services has increased more than 5% since 2017, reaching 90.1% as of April 12.
- Want to help the USPS and vets? Buy a 'Healing PTSD' stamp
(We Are The Mighty)
The United States Postal Services has been in the news lately as they, just like the rest of us, are feeling the impact of the economy. Now, there's a way to support everyone's buddy, the USPS, and a cause more than worthy of your support: PTSD.
- States ‘Reopening’ Might Not Apply to Troops, Military Families
The U.S. military is preparing to operate under pandemic restrictions for the foreseeable future even though some states are beginning to lift coronavirus lockdowns — a dynamic that could create a patchwork of military installations operating under far stricter restrictions than the states where they are based.
TAPS In the News
- Make Mom Feel Like a Celebrity with These Mother’s Day Gift Ideas
(NBC Los Angeles)
Staying at home this Mother's Day? Here's what celebrity gift guru Lash Fary says the stars are getting gifted and how you can get them too. TAPS For Hope bracelet featured.
- More And More Insurance Companies Are Giving Back During The Coronavirus Pandemic
Several insurance companies are leading the way in supporting people and the nonprofits and health care organizations that are fighting against the virus.
- Advocacy group wants survivor benefits for all military families who lose a service member to coronavirus
(Stars and Stripes)
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a nonprofit and advocacy group for families of fallen service members, is looking to get the remainder of National Guard troops on federal status and to backdate it to help families of fallen receive federal benefits, such as monthly survivor compensation, education benefits or a death gratuity.
- Here's what grieving military families can teach civilians dealing with coronavirus tragedy
TAPS families of the fallen are no strangers to isolation after loss. TAPS President and Founder Bonnie Carroll shares how their experience is helping others dealing with COVID-19.
Government Relations / Benefits
- VA moves benefits hearings online following passage of new modernization act
The Department of Veterans Affairs has moved appeals hearings for veterans’ benefits online, following moves to expand other online services during the coronavirus pandemic.
- New law restores GI Bill benefits to veterans affected by pandemic
(Stars and Stripes)
President Donald Trump late Tuesday signed into law a second emergency GI Bill fix for student veterans whose studies have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, protecting work-study programs and providing extra insurance in the case of college closings.
- Military Commissaries Limit Meat Purchases Amid Supply Chain Worries
Citing supply chain strains and anticipated shortages as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the agency that manages military commissaries says some stores will start limiting how much fresh meat customers can purchase.
- DODEA schools worldwide will close for rest of school year, with possible exception of South Korea
(Stars and Stripes)
All of the Defense Department’s schools will close their doors for the remainder of the school year with the possible exception of those in South Korea, officials said Friday.
- FDA to authorize emergency use of new coronavirus treatment
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday announced the drug will receive an "emergency use authorization" after it showed promising results during a clinical trial.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- When Stress Awakens The Emotional Eater In You
With no firm end in sight to the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be time to take a look at what we’re eating for more energy and a better mood!
- VA App Store - Mental Health
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Your mental health is a critical part of your overall well-being. VA Mobile has mental health and self-care apps to help support you.
- More Than Ever Before
We need to focus daily on caring for our emotional health and well-being. Your mental health matters #MoreThanEverBefore. Visit the VA PREVENTS web page for tools and resources to support you and your loved ones.
- Managing Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak
Veterans Affairs offers evidence-informed practical strategies for managing stress reactions during COVID-19 pandemic.
- 6 ways to keep busy at home without relying on screens
(We Are The Mighty)
This list will help you get things done around the house without using copious amounts of screen time.
- 9 ways to boost your mental health as the coronavirus pandemic continues
(Good Morning America)
Amid the coronavirus pandemic and isolation, our mental health is more fragile than ever. For Mental Health Awareness Month, Good Morning America is sharing resources, tips and ways to protect your mental health.
- 5 simple tips to help you avoid the ‘Quarantine 15’
(We Are The Mighty)
Some amount of snacking is acceptable. Still, to avoid gaining too much weight while quarantined, you should consider a few tips to keep your calorie intake in check. Here are a few good ideas to help you out.
- How to Be More Resilient In a Crisis
(We Are The Mighty)
A Navy SEAL psychologist and a family psychology expert share the secret to becoming a more resilient person.
- How Grief and Mourning Change During a Pandemic
Six experts explain how to recognize the many new faces of grief during a pandemic.
- Being Mindful Deepak Chopra shared how to cope with feelings of grief and loss
Mindfulness expert Deepak Chopra shares tips for coping with the loss of a loved one as well as the seven stages of grief that emerges from the loss of lifestyle.
- A teacher's five stages of grief for a fractured school year
‘I miss so many things: my students, my colleagues, the good days, the hard days’
- The mental health ramifications we expected for doctors are here now.
The baseline for getting physicians the care they need was low, even before the pandemic, our ER doctor writes.
- For Mental Health Month: 31 Songs That Show How to Keep a Positive Outlook
Billboard.com kicks off Mental Health Month with a retrospective of 31 songs - one for every day of the month that speak to the importance of maintaining a positive mental outlook.
- The state of millennials' mental health during coronavirus pandemic
The 'loneliest generation' gets lonelier: How millennials are dealing with the anxieties of isolation and the uncertainties of life after quarantine
- New York Air National Guard supports America Strong flyover
(Air National Guard)
The New York Air National Guard at the Eastern Air Defense Sector played a key role in the April 28 America Strong flyover honoring health care personnel and essential workers in the New York City area.
- Army defends decision to have West Point graduation
The Army’s top leaders on Thursday defended their decision to bring 1,000 cadets back to the Military Academy at West Point for graduation, where President Donald Trump is slated to speak, saying that despite the coronovirus risk, students would have had to return anyway to prepare for their next duty assignment.
- Coronavirus cases surge on carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, destroyer USS Kidd
(San Diego Union Tribune)
Novel coronavirus outbreaks on two Navy warships surged Thursday as more sailors were tested.
- Navy, CDC hope to learn about coronavirus from the USS Theodore Roosevelt outbreak
(Stars and Stripes)
An investigation by the Navy and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into the outbreak of the novel coronavirus aboard the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt could yield data valuable not just to the military, but also to the greater scientific community in the race to understand the virus better, the Navy says.
- National Guard COVID-19 update
A team of medical professionals from the Polish military is in the United States visiting the Illinois National Guard to share lessons learned and best practices from their fight against COVID-19 in Europe.
- COVID Hurting Army Small Businesses
(National Defense Magazine)
The COVID-19 pandemic is putting particular stress on the Army’s second- and third-tier suppliers, said the service's secretary April 30.
- Navy Hospital Ships, Once Thought Critical, See Few Patients
As virus infections have slowed or fell short of worst-case predictions, the globe is dotted with unused or barely used temporary hospitals.
- Military COVID-19 cases continue to grow as DoD begins to study asymptomatic transmission
The Defense Department is working toward being able to test troops in key national security roles, the Pentagon’s top spokesman told Military Times on Friday, but numbers aren’t yet available as to how much progress has been made.
- TikTok’s ‘Don’t Rush Challenge’ is getting a patriotic spin thanks to female veterans
A group of veterans are giving 1940s-style icons an unexpected twist that’s breaking stereotypes and increasing visibility for women in the military.
- How a former Navy SEAL is working with the Air Force to get airmen face masks
A former Navy SEAL is working with the Air Force to ensure that airmen are protected from COVID-19 and has created face masks for them — including one that uses fabric offering similar protection to the N95 masks healthcare workers use.
- VA orders $300,000 worth of body bags
The Department of Veterans Affairs ordered nearly $300,000 worth of body bags this month from a major contractor because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Veterans Affairs adds 2,000 new coronavirus cases in five days, deaths top 500
Veterans Affairs patient deaths from coronavirus topped 500 overnight and cases rose to nearly 9,000 as the illness continues to spread within the department’s health system.
- New Digital Series for Military Caregivers
To kick off the Month of the Military Caregiver, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation launched Caregiver Community Connection (C3), a new web-based series designed to empower, equip, and engage America’s military and veteran caregivers.
- My Life My Story program interviews Veterans across the country
“Story a Day” is a daily call that features Veteran stories from the My Life, My Story program. VA staff, interns, and volunteers have interviewed more than 5,000 Veterans since 2013.
Military Family News
- Joint Base Langley-Eustis Participates in 'Chalk the Walk'
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the national event named "Chalk the Walk" has become an example of hope. Soldiers and their families at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, participated in the event April 24 by taking to their sidewalks and creating works of art with chalk.
Across the TAPS Family
- NJCU Athletics to Introduce Robert J. Delaney Service Above Self Award
(New Jersey City University)
The New Jersey City University athletics department will introduce a new major special annual award beginning this spring with the creation of the Robert J. Delaney Service Above Self Award. The inaugural award will be announced on June 1, 2020. Delaney serves on the TAPS Advisory Board.
- Save the Date to Support TAPS on Giving Tuesday
Save the date for May 5! #GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of unity sparked by the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. Please remember the families of America's Fallen Heroes. Each donation to TAPS will be matched 1:1 by The Hartwell Foundation.
- TAPS Dog Blog with Beamer Burleson
Beamer is a very good boy. This week he helps his TAPS Family honor his fellow therapy animals with his own pawed out thoughts on providing unconditional love and support to his human.
- TAPS Huddle with NASCAR Driver Spencer Boyd
Watch the recent Facebook Live chat TAPS Sports & Entertainment held with NASCAR driver Spencer Boyd. Spencer has hosted a number of TAPS families at NASCAR events across the country.
- 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.
- Enjoy the TAPS Talks series on demand
In response to the need to reduce sense of isolation, the new TAPS Talks series brings comfort and connections to those feeling the stressful impacts of social distancing.
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Upcoming Events
The latest 2020 schedule of events across the TAPS Family.
Other Coronavirus News
- Plasma Donations from Recovered COVID-19 Patients
(American Red Cross)
In coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Red Cross is seeking people who are fully recovered from the new coronavirus to sign up to donate plasma to help current COVID-19 patients.
- Humanitarian organizations issue guidelines on reopening schools amid COVID-19
Humanitarian organizations have warned that children around the globe face "unprecedented risk" as school closures related to COVID-19 drag on, and they've issued guidelines to assist in balancing educational needs with public health and safety.
- My entire family survived COVID-19. Here's what I wish I knew earlier
This mother shared her month-long experience surviving the coronavirus.
- High school seniors are wondering if they should go away to college amid coronavirus
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, some students are taking gap years, attending schools closer to home, transferring to community colleges or even forgoing college altogether.
- Long lines, lots of kids, and plenty to touch: How does Disney reopen its parks?
As some U.S. states lift stay-at-home orders, investors and park fans are watching to see how Walt Disney Co — which makes a third of its revenue from parks, experiences and products — reimagines the “happiest place on earth” for a world altered by the coronavirus.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.