The TAPS Daily - May 11, 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.
- CNO to quarantine after exposure to COVID-19, National Guard Bureau Chief tests positive
Two top U.S. military leaders are now in quarantine after one tested positive for the illness caused by the novel coronavirus and another was exposed to a family member with the disease.
- Veterans Groups, VA Brace for Surge in Demand for Mental Health Care
The VA and its partner mental health providers have kept thousands of veterans in treatment during the coronavirus pandemic through telehealth appointments. But as job losses and increased social isolation take an extended toll, some veterans' advocates worry the already understaffed VA medical facilities can't keep up and that telehealth isn’t enough.
- We are all serving right now: The military spouse's guide to surviving a pandemic
Americans writ large are worried sleepless about their loved ones and putting food on the table. Isolation is shaking their mental health. Working from home while caring for children seems impossible. This is all familiar territory for military families. Brianna Keilar shares coping skills from across the military family community.
- How to honor Memorial Day from home this year
(The News & Advance)
Even if things are opening back up in your area, spending Memorial Day weekend at a crowded beach is still not a great idea this year. Instead, help honor those who served with these ideas.
- Army veteran, ‘Seinfeld’ actor Jerry Stiller dies at 92
(Task and Purpose)
Celebrated actor Jerry Stiller, passed away at age 92. The father of actor, Ben Stiller, enlisted in the Army during World War II and used his G.I. Bill to gain a degree in speech and drama. It led to a storied career in stage, television, and film culminating in his Emmy nominated role as Frank Costanza on Seinfeld.
- Set your Alarm: Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon will be Aligning to form a smiley face
The world needs a reason to smile right now. The cosmos is happy to provide a rare alignment of planets and moon on May 16.
- VIDEO: Research Groups Find Wreck of 'Unsinkable Battleship' USS Nevada
(US Naval Institute)
The USS Nevada (BB 36) has been found nearly 3 miles below the surface of the Pacific about 65 nautical miles southwest of Pearl Harbor, a team of researchers announced today.
Memorial Day News
- Commemorate Memorial Day With a Virtual 'Parade of Heroes'
The genealogy site Ancestry has organized a virtual event to commemorate Memorial Day and the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The stream is scheduled to air on Ancestry's Facebook Page via Watch Party on Monday, May 25, at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT).
- 20 Best Memorial Day Activities - What to Do on Memorial Day While Quarantined
Even in quarantine there’s ways you can honor what May 25 is really about.
- Memorial Day Fast Facts
Here's a look at Memorial Day, a day honoring American soldiers who died serving the country in wars. It is observed annually in the United States on the last Monday in May.
- When Is Memorial Day Weekend 2020? - Memorial Day Meaning and History
The day of remembrance has a long, interesting history.
- Gen. James Mattis to speak at Tri-Cities Memorial Day drive-thru parade
Gen. James Mattis’ hometown plans to observe Memorial Day, but it will be a drive through and broadcast event because of the new coronavirus. The public is invited to hear the former secretary of defense, speak — just not in person.
- Annual Memorial Day flag garden canceled over COVID-19, organizers hope to make event virtual
For the first time in more than a decade, Boston Common will not be transformed into a patriotic sea of flags for Memorial Day. The organizers are canceling the 2020 edition of the tribute in light of the ongoing outbreak.
TAPS In the News
- How the coronavirus has changed the way we grieve
As the pandemic continues to keep us physically distant, we must embrace new ways of expressing grief and memorializing our loved ones. TAPS Advisory Board Member, Dr. Alan Wolfeldt, is interviewed.
- 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
- Schumer calls on VA to explain use of unproven drug on veterans for coronavirus
The Senate’s top Democrat on Sunday called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to explain why it allowed the use of an unproven drug on veterans for the coronavirus, saying patients may have been put at unnecessary risk.
- Veterans need to get a copy of their JST now
(Task and Purpose)
Did you know that some of your military service and experience may be worth college credits? To see the full value of college credits you could receive, you can request a Joint Services Transcript (JST) even after you transition out of the military.
- Survivors of Military Domestic Violence Asked to Share Their Stories with Congress
The Government Accountability Office is seeking input from survivors of domestic violence in military relationships, including service members, spouses or partners who experienced abuse any time in the past six years.
- German Lawmakers Investigate Whether Double Taxation of US Troops, Civilians Violates SOFA
Regional lawmakers in Germany are investigating why a finance office near Ramstein Air Base has stepped up efforts to collect income tax from American troops and military civilians, possibly breaching an international treaty that governs U.S. forces in the country.
- Many low-income military families need SNAP, but can't overcome an eligibility hurdle
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, should help military families during this crisis, but some do not qualify for assistance even when they cannot afford adequate food.
- DOD Launches Financial Education Website for Military Spouses
In recognition of military spouses and the important role they have in keeping the force financially ready, The Department of Defense Office of Financial Readiness introduces MilSpouse Money Mission, a new financial education resource just for military spouses.
- Report Finds Asbestos, Other Risks in Military Family Housing
U.S. military families around the world are living in government-owned and -operated housing containing serious health and safety risks, according to the most recent report by the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- Video: Helping Grievers Cope with Guilt, Anger, and Other Difficult Emotions | TAPS Institute
Presented by the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing®, this video recording of the webinar with Dr. Ken Doka and Dr. Dale Larson, assists counselors and other professionals in assisting clients who are processing difficult emotions in grief such as guilt, anger, and shame.
- Mental Health an Emerging Crisis of COVID Pandemic
Americans are reporting high levels of emotional distress from the coronavirus pandemic -- levels that some experts warn may lead to a national mental health crisis.
- Stress Headaches Are Common During COVID-19 & How To Ease Them
(Mind Body Green)
Noticing more headaches while you’ve quarantined? You’re not alone. More people are reporting this same malady right now. Here’s what may be at the root of it all.
- How to reduce financial stress triggered by coronavirus pandemic
Here are some expert tips from the mental health and financial community on how best to cope with these common money stressors.
- 10 Facts About Anxiety, According to Psychologists
Anxiety is a part of life, but it shouldn’t take over. Here’s how to gain control.
- Serious mental illness and COVID-19: How to help your patients right now
(American Psychological Association)
Psychologists are using telehealth to serve clients during COVID-19, even those with serious mental illnesses. These recommendations provide guidance on meeting the unique needs of these individuals during an uncertain time.
- COVID-19, stress and the dangers of our media 'pundemic'
As the virus drags on, some information consumers have begun to limit time with cable news and push laptops away before diving too deep inside an online rabbit hole. Television ratings show more people are, instead, turning to the network evening newscasts.
- How to cope with anxiety about life after lockdown
As some countries ease coronavirus restrictions, mental health experts are noticing an emerging phenomenon; anxiety about life after lockdown.
- Commentary: Health workers carry invisible wounds. Veterans can help them heal.
While they continue to fight coronavirus on the front lines of our homes and neighborhoods, healthcare workers deserve our gratitude and so much more. We must prepare to serve them when this battle finally ends. It will end and we will prevail, but not after it has taken its toll.
- Children Have Been Visiting the ER for Mental Health Issues at an Increased Rate
(US News and World Report)
Children and teens have gone to the emergency room in recent years for self-harm and other mental health issues at increasing rates, a new analysis shows.
- Why I'm Working to Send 10,000 Tablets to COVID-19 Hospital Units and Hospices
Death rituals are an integral part of our grieving process. During this terrifying pandemic, you can help patients separated from their loved ones say goodbye.
- 'Baking therapy' can help people cope with anxiety, says NYC psychotherapist
When life hands you lemons, make lemon poppy seed muffins. So says psych expert Jack Hazan — also known as NYC’s baking therapist.
- 6 Tips for Talking to Kids About Death
We can’t gloss over the topic without denying a fundamental part of our lives and our family. Here’s how we navigate the conversation.
- The 8 Most Original Military Tech Ideas for the Fight Against COVID-19
The U.S. military has revved up its ingenuity engine to create some notably fresh approaches to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.
- DOD Uses 3D Printers to Ease COVID-19 Ventilator Shortage
Developers from the Army Research Laboratory are collaborating with civilian partners to manufacture low-cost, emergency ventilators using 3D printers.
- South Korea-based soldier with coronavirus keeps positive attitude while in isolation
(Stars and Stripes)
Army Pfc. Victoria Tolley considers herself fortunate even though she has been largely isolated in a barracks room for six weeks after testing positive for the coronavirus.
- Moody Airman Killed in Accident Identified
The Georgia State Patrol has identified a Moody Air Force Base airman who died in a vehicle accident Thursday in Lanier County.
- Iowa National Guard Transports COVID-19 Test Kits by Helicopter
Iowa Army National Guard soldiers helped their fellow Iowans by transporting COVID-19 test kits.
- African American and Hispanic veterans may face bigger risk from coronavirus, VA warns
Veterans Affairs officials are warning African American and Hispanic veterans that they may face a greater health risk from the coronavirus outbreak as the total number of positive cases in the department’s health system topped 11,000 over the weekend.
- Increasing recognition of military-based learning in the midst of the coronavirus crisis
What insights can be learned from historical periods of veteran unemployment that might guide or improve the response effort in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis?
- Keeping The COVID Plague At Bay: How California Is Protecting Older Veterans
COVID-19 has hastened the end for scores of retired soldiers in veterans homes in other states. The California Department of Veteran Affairs, by contrast, is holding the beastly infection at bay.
- Ex-Navy helicopter pilot is now a nurse on the front lines of the coronavirus battle
(Stars and Stripes)
Naval Academy grad and former Navy pilot is responsible for the lives of others as a charge nurse at Anne Arundel Medical Center.
- Superintendent Bragged About VA Review of Soldiers Home. 2 Months Later, 73 Veterans Are Dead.
State-run veterans homes, which have suffered enormously in the pandemic, fall between the regulatory cracks. The VA disclaims responsibility for them, and its inspections have overlooked issues later identified by other investigators.
- Multiple N.J. homes for veterans see dozens of coronavirus-related deaths
Several nursing and care homes for military veterans in New Jersey have become hotspots for the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in dozens of deaths among veterans at the facilities.
- WWII Marine vet beats COVID-19: 'I've gone through hell more than once and this came almost as close'
(FOX 5 DC)
A 99-year-old Marine veteran earned a new medal this week -- to go along with the two Purple Hearts he was given for his actions during World War II -- after winning a long and tough battle against the coronavirus.
- 100-year-old WWII vet beats COVID-19 just like he helped beat the Nazis
(Task and Purpose)
Arthur "Mac" McIntosh is looking forward to his 101st birthday this week after overcoming a case of COVID-19, the respiratory disease associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
- More than 1 million veterans were jobless in April as COVID-19 crushed the economy
(Task and Purpose)
As the coronavirus pandemic continued to take its toll on the US economy, more than 1 million veterans found themselves without a job in April as the unemployment rate for this group rose to 11.7%.
- America's oldest living WWII veteran faced hostility abroad—and at home
At 110 years old, Louisiana native Lawrence Brooks is proud of his service and says he would do it again.
- Remains of missing WWII Marine identified
(Task and Purpose)
The remains of a Marine who was killed in World War II have been identified. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency on Tuesday announced that Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Robert D. Jenks, 20, was accounted for on February 4.
- Trump, Esper, and Wilkie didn't wear masks while meeting with WWII veterans despite COVID-19 threat
(Task and Purpose)
President Donald Trump and military and veterans affairs leaders did not wear masks during a Friday ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of VE-Day despite the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Military Family News
- The 6 Small Money Mistakes Made by Military Families
Lots of us make mistakes with our money. There's a lot to learn, and we're always stumbling into new situations.
- How these military teens celebrated their prom (sort of) at an exchange food court
Sporting “Class of Quarantine 2020” face masks, nine military teens who are employees of the exchange food court at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany wore their prom finery to work recently, on the day when they should have been going to their prom.
- 5 reasons why our military mothers are the best
(We Are The Mighty)
Our mothers put up with so much and they never get the credit or recognition they deserve.
Across the TAPS Family
- Captain up for Best Team Dog, Caps up for 5 fan choice awards
TAPS Sports & Entertainment program partner, the Washington Capitals, have been nominated for five NHL Fan Choice awards, including Best Team Dog.
- Teachers make a difference | TAPS Saturday Morning Message
Surviving military family members wrote this week about how they were encouraged and motivated by their childhood teachers.
- Yuengling donates $50K to TAPS, provides new resources to military
Yuengling is working with TAPS to donate resources to military families suffering from loss, as well as those who are impacted emotionally and financially by COVID-19, through its Lagers for Heroes program.
- 2020 Virtual National Military Survivor Seminar and Family Program | TAPS
Register to join us, virtually, this Memorial Day weekend to honor our fallen heroes. The Virtual National Military Survivor Seminar and Family Program is offered to all those grieving the loss of a loved one who served in our nation's Armed Forces.
Other Coronavirus News
- White House to require staffers to wear masks in West Wing
The White House began requiring staffers entering the West Wing to wear a facial covering Monday, according to 2 sources familiar with the decision.
- Coronavirus Obituaries: Remembering Those We've Lost
Learn the stories of the remarkable lives led by some of those lost to COVID-19.
- The pandemic emptied America's roadways, and speeders have taken over
(Stars and Stripes)
Three months into the coronavirus pandemic, the United States faces another crisis: a surge in speeding and reckless behavior on the nation's roadways.
- Overeating during the pandemic? Here’s how to manage your trips to the fridge
It’s National Eat What You Want Day! So, make sure you celebrate the day with a few tips in mind.
- The doctor who battled the 1918 influenza pandemic is a lot like Dr. Fauci
Before there was Dr. Anthony Fauci, there was Dr. Thomas Tuttle, a Washington health commissioner who shepherded the state through the devastating 1918 influenza pandemic.
- One-Thousand-Year-Old Mill Resumes Production to Supply Flour Amid Pandemic
To help meet the spike in demand, a 1,000-year-old English flour mill has resumed commercial production for the first time in decades.
- What Hamburg's Missteps In 1892 Cholera Outbreak Can Teach Us About COVID-19 Response
As the world comes to terms with how governments have responded to today's coronavirus pandemic, some are looking to history to guide them.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.