The TAPS Daily - May 14, 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.
- The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Opens its Doors to the American People
In the wake of the devastating impact of COVID-19, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) has made available nearly 30 years of resources, information and hopeful healing to the American people.
- Made with Prayers and Good Wishes
A surviving spouse is getting through the virus craziness by knitting prayer shawls for patients at a local nursing home and the hospice facility.
- USSF and ULA to honor COVID-19 responders with 'America Strong' launch
The U.S. Space Force and United Launch Alliance will honor all front-line workers and COVID-19 first responders while paying tribute to those affected by the pandemic during a launch mission scheduled for May 16 at 8:24 a.m. Eastern.
- Century-old memorabilia box opened at Arlington Cemetery
An interdisciplinary team recently unsealed a memorabilia box more than a 100 years old at Arlington National Cemetery, in honor of the Memorial Amphitheater’s centennial.
- General Martin Dempsey | No Time For Spectators
(The Jordan Harbinger Show)
TAPS Board Member, General Martin Dempsey, talks us through his latest book, No Time for Spectators: The Lessons That Mattered Most from West Point to The West Wing.
- Here's how to deal with quarantine, according to a retired Air Force colonel, former astronaut
(Air Force Times)
Retired Air Force Col. and former astronaut Greg Johnson knows a thing or two about isolation. Now, he’s sharing some ways in a video posted by NATO to manage the lack of human interaction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- #GraduateTogether - America Honors the High School Class of 2020
A one-hour primetime special hosted by the LeBron James Family Foundation will celebrate the graduation of more than 3 million high school seniors across the country. The ceremony airs live Saturday, May 16 simultaneously across ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, as well as a broad alliance of social media and streaming platforms.
- Penguins wander empty art museum, director says they seem to prefer Caravaggio over Monet
The penguins at the Kansas City zoo have been lonely without visitors during the coronavirus pandemic, so their human caretakers decided to take them on a field trip to the local art museum.
Memorial Day News
- 4 Things to Remember Every Memorial Day
Even if you aren't planting flags at a cemetery or you don't know anyone who fell in service to their country, there are still things you can learn, observe and even teach to others.
- Do's and Don'ts for Memorial Day During a Pandemic
Memorial Day during a pandemic: You'd think this would be a first. But it's not.
- National Memorial Day Parade
(American Veterans Center)
A pre-recorded television special entitled, “The National Memorial Day Parade: America Stands Tall”, will be broadcast on Memorial Day to more than 100 million households on ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX stations nationwide.
- A different Memorial Day awaits us
We will not let this silent monster ruin the important holidays that fall this month.
- Even without traditional parades, communities find ways to honor veterans on Memorial Day
Organizers have come up with creative and meaningful ways to honor veterans and their loved ones.
TAPS In the News
- 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
- Stimulus checks: Some Social Security recipients to get checks starting today
Many Americans that receive extra Social Security benefits for low-income aged, blind or disabled people are likely to receive their stimulus payments today or through the mail beginning on Friday, according to the Social Security Administration.
- What Veterans Need to Know About Federal Debts During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Economic stress is affecting everyone right now, including military-connected students and veterans. And you have some important new rights about your debts.
- Student veterans worry about GI Bill benefits when returning to college classes this fall
As student veterans wrap up their coronavirus-shortened spring semesters this month, many are worried about what is going to happen with their classes and education benefits when they return to school next fall.
- Civilian Health Care Workers Need a Bill of Rights, Not the GI Bill
The GI Bill is not a panacea for offsetting frontline healthcare workers’ cost of higher education, though the motivation is understandable. There are better ways to care for them and others fighting the pandemic that honor their service as a public benefit.
- VA and Parkinson's Foundation partner to help Veterans living with Parkinson's disease
(Southern Maryland Chronicle)
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Parkinson’s Foundation announced today they are teaming up to improve the health, well-being and quality of life of Veterans living with Parkinson’s disease.
- In the fight: Child development centers vital to the force
Ensuring the Army's mission during the coronavirus pandemic also requires a series of changes to Child and Youth Services.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- Honor Your Emotions: A Free CMBM Self-Care Webinar
(Center for Mind-Body Medicine)
TAPS Advisory Board Member, Dr. James S. Gordon, hosts a self-care webinar Friday, May 15 to help attendees become aware of the emotions that are arising during the coronavirus pandemic and how to relax with and express them, find relief from them, and perhaps wisdom through them.
- Resources to Support Mental Health and Coping with the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
(Suicide Prevention Resource Center)
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) has compiled a selection of web pages and information sheets on mental health and coping with the effects of COVID-19. These resources are a selection from key organizations in the field. We will continue to update this list as new resources become available.
- Healthy Habits and Rituals We'll Continue Doing After Coronavirus
From a revised morning routine to a newfound love for at-home workouts, there are some unexpected upsides we can take away from this global crisis.
- These are the biggest mental health problems caused by quarantine and 6 things you can do to prevent them
Mental health is a continuum. And on any given day, we may slide up the continuum toward better mental health, or we may slide down the continuum toward poorer mental health. The stress related to quarantine causes many people to experience a decline in mental health.
- UN Warns Of COVID-19 Pandemic's Heavy Toll On Mental Health
The United Nations is warning that the coronavirus presents still another menace that health officials must not overlook.
- The Coming Mental-Health Crisis
Congress must rethink the American approach to mental-health care during the pandemic.
- With School Buildings Closed, Children's Mental Health Is Suffering
In response to a call on social media, parents across the country shared with NPR that the mental health of their young children appears to be suffering as the weeks of lockdown drag on.
- Getting Children and Teens Outside While Social Distancing for COVID-19
Tips to help you and your children get a healthy dose of nature while still practicing good social distancing.
- Gratitude exercises from Nationwide Children's Hospital to boost children's mental health
(ABC News Local)
Research shows that people who think about the good things in life are healthier and happier. That's why Nationwide Children's Hospital is sharing gratitude exercises to boost your child's mental, and physical health.
- Psychologists emphasize more self-care for older adults
(American Psychological Association)
Older Americans may be of the mindset that “age 60 is the new 40.” But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be vigilant about their physical and psychological health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Register for TPG Small Biz webinar on mental health strategies
(The Points Guy)
If you’re trying to balance your stress and keep your doors open for customers, join this week’s TPG Small Biz Webinar, and learn why taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your business, along with strategies to cope during COVID-19.
- Grief For Beginners: 5 Things To Know About Processing Loss
We're all experiencing some form of grief these days. As this pandemic progresses, more of us will brush shoulders with loss.
- Eight Ways to Cope with Your Feelings of Grief During the Pandemic
Emotions will vary widely based on how this pandemic has affected you personally. Local therapists offer advice on how to manage feelings of grief.
- Guard's Domestic COVID-19 Response is Largest Since Hurricane Katrina
With almost 47,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen activated to fight COVID-19, this pandemic marks the Guard's largest domestic response since Hurricane Katrina.
- Trump says when a COVID-19 vaccine comes, he’ll mobilize the US military to distribute it
(Task and Purpose)
President Donald Trump is mobilizing the U.S. military to distribute a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine when one becomes available and will focus first on older Americans.
- DoD's inspector general has received almost 300 tips for coronavirus-related issues
The Pentagon’s inspector general has received almost 300 tips and opened more than 200 complaints as of May 11, according to the oversight plan. More than half of the complaints were for alleged violations of social distancing policy.
- Pentagon removes Defense Production Act point person
The Pentagon has removed its lead official responsible for executing the Defense Production Act to increase production of key equipment to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
- What Family Businesses Can Learn from the Military
(Harvard Business Review)
To successfully navigate volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) challenges like COVID-19, family business leaders can look to best practices from another organization that specializes in VUCA situations — the U.S. military’s Special Operations Forces (SOF).
- Military recruiting takes a digital turn during the pandemic
(Stars and Stripes)
Face-to-face meetings with potential recruits have been replaced by long hours on a computer and smartphone — searching for and chatting with prospects in a safe digital environment.
- Clean Teams Train to Flatten the COVID-19 Curve
Units with the 25th Infantry Division have been training soldiers to work in clean teams across Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, as part of a multitude of prevention measures the garrison has in place to trace, prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
- Guard Recruiters Going Virtual Amid the Pandemic
National Guard recruiters are getting creative in order to meet potential future soldiers and airmen with stay-at-home orders still in place around much of the country.
- 'Heroes Through Housing' Event Builds Community Morale
Sirens blared and children clapped as the Kaiserslautern Military Community's first responders drove through the family housing area at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, during a 'Heroes Through Housing' event.
- Petty officer died after collapsing while jogging
A Florida-based petty officer died late last month after he collapsed while jogging on base, officials confirmed this week.
- Pennsylvania Guard Soldiers honored for aiding crash victim
Two Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers were recognized for stopping to render first aid to a seriously injured motorcycle crash victim along Interstate 78.
- Veteran Duped by Phony Marine Awarded $1.7 Million in Stolen Valor Case
Montana's highest court has upheld a judgment against a Lynchburg, Virginia, man who solicited at least one investor in his business dealings by claiming to have been a U.S. Marine.
- VA hiring jumps amid coronavirus crisis, but department opposes hazard pay for front-line staff
Veterans Affairs officials say they are hiring new staffers at a blistering pace as they continue to respond to the ongoing coronavirus threat, but department critics say their opposition to hazard pay for those workers undercuts the positive news.
- VA to pay more than $1 million for mistreating Maine veterans
(Task and Purpose)
The federal government has agreed to pay more than $1 million total to five veterans who alleged mistreatment of foot and ankle problems at the Togus Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta.
- Veteran centenarian sisters stay in touch during pandemic
In these unprecedented times, the novel coronavirus has affected everyone in the United States. This includes Army World War II Veteran and Carl Vinson VA Medical Center resident Meta Monteleon, our country’s oldest Army nurse Veteran at 105-years-old.
- Horses Help Veterans At Hines VA Medical Center Recover Even During The Coronavirus Pandemic
Veterans at Hines VA Medical Center had some very special visitors Wednesday — horses. The pair helped the veterans forget about their medical conditions for a moment, along with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Asian Pacific Americans in the US Army
Honoring Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who served in our nation’s military.
Military Family News
- Building family resilience during COVID-19
As restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic continue, Soldiers, civilians, and their families are trying to adapt to a new normal.
Across the TAPS Family
- TAPS Talks: Objects & Heirlooms: Clearing Clutter and Staying Connected
This video recording discusses clearing clutter while lingering over cherished memories to boost happiness.
- ‘Hey, what are you reading?’Kids start social distance book club.
(Love What Matters)
TAPS kid, Emma Dozier, is bringing Harry Potter to life for other kids while practicing social distancing.
- Treating Grief in the Veteran Population
In PsychArmor’s course "Treating Grief in the Veteran Population," TAPS Peer Mentor, Dana O'Brien, describes his feelings of loss after his grandson, Daniel, died by suicide.
- Capitals, Wizards, and Mystics selling custom t-shirts to benefit COVID-19 relief effort
TAPS Sports & Entertainment partners, the Washington Capitals, Mystics and Wizards have released new T-shirt designs to raise money for local coronavirus relief efforts.
- 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
- The Smithsonian Is Collecting Coronavirus 'Artifacts' To Document The Pandemic
Three Smithsonian museums in D.C. are launching coronavirus collection projects. Local library systems and historical societies are starting their own projects, too.
- People Are Recreating Paintings In This Dutch Instagram Account And Here Are 30 Of The Best Ones
“Between Art and Quarantine” museum challenge has people getting creative to recreate famous artwork.
- How coronavirus-related stress takes a toll on your body
The constant stress of living in the age of coronavirus is affecting more than your mental health and emotional coping abilities. It's likely taking a toll on your body as well.
- Coronavirus: Here Are Some Of The Victims Of COVID-19
Families and friends around the world are remembering people who have died during the coronavirus pandemic. Read their stories here.
- Coronavirus Obituaries Give A True Sense Of The Death Toll
If you read little details about people, you rightly see how big their lives were and how unfathomably awful the coronavirus pandemic really is.
- Virus whistleblower tells lawmakers US lacks vaccine plan
Whistleblower Rick Bright warned on Thursday that the U.S. lacks a plan to produce and fairly distribute a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available. The nation could face “the darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively, he told a congressional panel.
- Doctors in Italy find first scientific link between rare inflammatory disease in children and COVID-19
Italian doctors say they've got the first scientific evidence linking the coronavirus to a rare but deadly inflammatory disease in children.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.