The TAPS Daily - May 19, 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.
- Annie Glenn, Widow Of U.S. Sen. John Glenn, Dies At 100
Annie Glenn, the widow of astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn and a communication disorders advocate, died Tuesday at age 100 of COVID-19 complications.
- This Memorial Day video from a Gold Star business will shatter you
(We Are The Mighty)
Feltman's — a veteran and Gold Star family owned and operated company — understands the kind of loss when a loved one is ripped away and the kind a community shares when rocked by tragedy. It's the kind of loss Americans — and people all across the world — are feeling now.
- Turning Devastation into Hope
Surviving sibling shares her work on the PREVENTS task force - established to change the culture surrounding mental health and suicide prevention to empower veterans and address suicide.
- CNN and 'Sesame Street' to host a second special coronavirus town hall for kids and parents on May 30
CNN is partnering with "Sesame Street" for a second special town hall about coronavirus, focused on kids and parents. "The ABCs of COVID 19: A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Parents" will air on Saturday, May 30, at 10 a.m. ET and tackle issues such as summer safety, play dates, schooling and how kids and families around the world are creatively coping during these challenging times.
- Woman hunting for sea glass in Alaska finds Navy dog tag lost during WWII
Lost dog tag found on Alaska beach led to research to track down the owner and the eventual return of the memento to a World War II sailor’s surviving family.
- ‘Hard stop’: States could lose National Guard virus workers
More than 40,000 National Guard members currently helping states test residents for the coronavirus and trace the spread of infections will face a “hard stop” on their deployments on June 24 — just one day shy of many members becoming eligible for key federal benefits, according to a senior FEMA official.
Memorial Day News
- Stars to Join Ancestry® this Memorial Day for Virtual “Parade of Heroes”
(Olean Times Herald)
To help Americans commemorate Memorial Day from home this year, Ancestry, the leader in family history, presents the virtual “Parade of Heroes.”
- USAA Memorial Day - Honor Through Action
Remember those who gave their lives by serving their nation. USAA, a strong supporter of TAPS, hosts an online Memorial Day campaign with many ways Americans can pay tribute to the fallen.
- New York to allow small Memorial Day ceremonies and vehicle parades
New York state will allow Memorial Day ceremonies honoring America's military veterans to be held with up to 10 people in attendance, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.
- Eighteen Historic Planes Will Be Part of a SoCal Memorial Day Flyover
An 18-plane formation of historic warbirds will fly over the Inland Empire, Orange and Los Angeles counties on Memorial Day, saluting veterans and health care workers.
- Memorial Day TV: Programming that salutes American heroes
The three-day Memorial Day weekend includes some television shows that actually serves as a reminder of what the holiday is about: honoring and mourning the military personnel who died serving our country.
TAPS In the News
- Bonnie Carroll on CNN Shares New Civilian Resource Page for COVID-19 - We Are All In This Together
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors typically helps Gold Star families through the grief of losing loved ones. Now, it is offering resources to those affected by coronavirus, the organization’s president and founder Bonnie Carroll tells Brianna Keilar on CNN.
- Survivors memorialize fallen family members with ‘Love Lives On’ album
The collection, set for a May 22, 2020 release, features songs co-written by families who lost loved ones who served in the military and performed by renowned musicians such as Billy Ray Cyrus, Vince Gill, Lonestar and John Rich, spanning genres including rock, country, Americana and pop.
- Angie K (Keilhauer) takes part in Love Lives On project
Angie Keilhauer from The Voice Season 10 is part of a touching new project called with TAPS called “Love Lives On.” She delivers an absolutely stirring vocal on “You Carry Me Too,” the song she co-wrote as part of the project with the surviving family of the fallen hero the song honors.
- 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.
- 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
- Guard deployments may end one day short of mark needed for retirement, education benefits
Tens of thousands of National Guard troops responding to the coronavirus pandemic could see their deployments halted one day short of qualifying for a host of veterans benefits, according to a new report from Politico released Tuesday.
- Group Says Veterans Could Be Excluded From CARES Act Grants
(Inside Higher Ed)
College students who are veterans of the U.S. military could be disproportionately denied emergency aid grants under the CARES Act because of the way the Education Department is interpreting congressional intent in passing the coronavirus relief package, according to a report from Veterans Education Success, a nonprofit advocacy group.
- Here Are the 2020-2021 Post-9/11 GI Bill Rates
The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the Post-9/11 GI Bill rates for the 2020-2021 school year. These rates will be effective on August 1, 2020. The Montgomery GI Bill and Dependents' Education Assistance programs will see a rate change on October 1, 2020.
- Lack of military funerals during pandemic frustrates families of veterans
The military suspended funerals with full honors for veterans two months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing concerns. The lack of an honor guard, "Taps" and other tributes is troubling to the families of some veterans who have recently died.
- FDA cautions against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19
FDA cautions against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems. Does not affect FDA-approved uses for malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- Maintaining Your Psychological Health During A Pandemic
Here are 12 tips to help you cope and maintain your psychological health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- How the World Has Learned to Grieve in a Pandemic
(Council on Foreign Relations)
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have died amid the coronavirus pandemic, both from the disease known as COVID-19 and other ailments. Compounding the pain and loss as the death toll mounts is the inability to grieve as before—yet another wrenching disruption affecting cultures and faiths worldwide.
- 10 Dance Songs For Mental Health Awareness Month
Here, we shout out 10 electronic tunes that bravely face the darkest parts of our minds, inviting us to find peace in musical escape.
- U.S. Employers Scramble to Address Mental Health Epidemic
COVID-19 is driving a spike in mental health needs and companies are scrambling to keep up.
- Instagram launches new tool focused on mental health, wellness amid COVID-19
(Good Morning America)
Instagram has launched a new tool to help users find reliable, accurate information on topics including mental health and wellness. The new mobile-only tool, called Guides, shows Instagram users tips and resources from a variety of publishers.
- Mental health warning signs to watch out for in children during quarantine
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and professionals are stressing the need to seek out services if your children are struggling through missing school and fear of the unknown associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
- Coronavirus: Youth mental health 'needs recovery plan'
The COVID-19 pandemic will have serious long-term consequences for young people's mental health, charities, doctors and educationalists warn.
- How to Care for Your Child's Mental Health Right Now
Actions parents can take right now in order to help their children cope with this crisis in a healthy way
- Yoga may ease symptoms of depression, study says
Weekly sessions of yoga may ease depressive symptoms in people with other mental health issues, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of existing research.
- Red Cross launches virtual support hub to help those struggling with grief, loss due to COVID-19
The American Red Cross has launched a “Virtual Family Assistance Center” meant to help those struggling with loss and grief due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Grief on the Front Line—and Beyond
In their own voices, health care workers from across the country reflect on coping with the coronavirus.
- ROTC Cadet uses 3D printer to make face shields for local first responders dealing with COVID-19 virus
When Army ROTC Cadet Will Lamont received a 3D printer for Christmas several years ago from his parents, he had no idea the impact that gift would have in gifting others in the future.
- As States Relax Rules, Military Bases Take First Reopening Steps
The military's overall policy on lifting restrictions, both in the states and overseas, is undergoing review by the Pentagon. But Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley have stressed that they are taking the long view on how to deal with the virus.
- Pentagon memo contradicts SECDEF's year-end coronavirus vaccine goal, per report
Defense Secretary Mark Esper declared Friday that a government task force charged with developing a COVID-19 vaccine would have a widely available injection by the end of the year. But a leaked Pentagon memo shows that behind the scenes, senior leadership have been planning for the possibility that the services could be contending with coronavirus until well into next year.
- SecDef to Give Commencement Speech in Virtual Naval Academy Commissioning
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will give the pre-recorded keynote address on Friday to the Naval Academy's Class of 2020. This is the first virtual graduation for the academy, as coronavirus precautions shut down the Yard in March.
- Anti-microbial, machine washable face masks coming to soldiers to help protect against coronavirus
The Army has secured a contract for more than 180,000 face masks, so soldiers won’t have to permanently rely on ad-hoc items like neck gaiters and t-shirts, which may or may not effectively filter out coronavirus-sized particles.
- 'A Seal Around the Ship:' Coast Guard Crews Work to Avoid Catching COVID-19 on Drug Busts
Crews that handle bales of cocaine and marijuana usually take precautions with contraband, wearing gloves and minimizing contact with suspect traffickers. But deployment during the COVID-19 pandemic requires protective measures and a decontamination process few could have imagined.
- Tourette syndrome can’t hold back this Air Force EOD officer
(Task and Purpose)
Ever think a person with Tourette syndrome could become an Air Force explosive ordnance technician? If you answered no, you haven’t met Lt. Col. Kelly Hannum.
- Hercules Crew Receives Air Force Combat Action Medal After RPG Attack
For their quick-thinking maneuver to evacuate an area under attack, airmen were recently awarded the Air Force Combat Action Medal given to U.S. military personnel who "actively participated in either air or ground combat while operating in an unsecured space."
- Museum Educator Builds Navy’s New Zumwalt Mega-Destroyer Out of LEGO
A museum educator with the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, shows visitors virtually how to build a LEGO ship model of the USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000). Plans to build the LEGO ship model can be found on the museum’s website, www.hrnm.navy.mil.
- Women veterans advocates worry coronavirus crisis will overshadow other needed fixes
(Marine Corps Times)
Women veterans advocates worry another victim of the coronavirus pandemic could be progress in addressing gender-discrimination problems within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- How COVID-19 shifted the way we support veterans
The COVID-19 crisis is a fluid situation, changing every day, and so are the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable veterans. As they served our country with honor, we must rise to the challenge of finding every opportunity to serve them.
- Stay-home orders present challenges for veterans dealing with mental, physical health issues
(San Diego Tribune)
The wide societal shutdown during COVID-19 has disrupted the support systems and coping routines of many veterans living with physical and mental health challenges, according to experts and veterans organizations.
- Parade at veterans home lets families visit for first time in two months
A parade outside the Tuscaloosa Veterans Administration’s assisted living center where dozens of veterans lined the sidewalk enabled families to drive by and see loved ones for the first time in months.
- COVID-19: Korea donates face masks to British Korean War veterans
Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the UK has donated 40,000 face masks to UK veterans of the Korean War to help safeguard them from the risk of contracting COVID-19. The donation comes as the government marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War.
- Hugo the Very Good Working Dog Is Retiring
Hugo, Military Working Dog, is going from "paw-trolling" to the couch.
Military Family News
- Father Caring For Wounded Veteran Daughter Earns National Honor
After his daughter suffered injuries while serving in the Air Force, including a traumatic brain injury from an improvised explosive device, Clearwater resident Joseph Narvaez stepped up to become her primary caregiver.
Across the TAPS Family
- We're All in This Together - TAPS COVID-19 Civilian Response Page
As survivors of military death, we are no strangers to isolation, fear and loss; we have many lessons learned and tools for coping. We have the advice of experts from our Advisory Board that we will share with you and other resources we’ve discovered over nearly three decades.
- Feltman's - Memorial Day 2020
(Feltman’s of Coney Island)
Feltman's is proud to support the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) this Memorial Day.
- New Hope for a 'New' Year
Our focus might have shifted since the New Year but we can use this time to learn new ways to cope and make us physically and mentally stronger.
- Video: Mourning Your Loss When the Whole World is Grieving | TAPS Institute
In this recording of the TAPS Talk, Patti Anewalt discusses how grief may be exacerbated during this difficult time and how to ensure a focus on self-care and wellness while honoring one's grief.
- U.S. Army Band Performs Song to Inspire Americans During Coronavirus Pandemic
“America” was written by retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey and he joins the band “Downrange” to perform the special tune. Gen. Dempsey is a TAPS Board Member.
- Survivors Together: Department of Veterans Affairs Memorial Day Q&A about benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs and our community partners TAPS, American Gold Star Mothers, AAFMAA, Wounded Warrior Project, & Travis Manion Foundation will be here on May 20 at 3 p.m. to answer questions.
Other Coronavirus News
- After the Pandemic: Coming to Grips with the New Normal
The social distancing and shelter-in-place policies adopted by many countries have been in force, on average, about 60 to 100 days. Those policies are now starting to be relaxed as economies in much of the developed world begin transitioning to what has been dubbed the "new normal."
- 'A Bridge Too Far': Coronavirus Catchphrase Taken from WWII
A British general's pessimistic prediction about a World War II operation is showing up as a coronavirus-era catchphrase.
- Widowed NJ mom on turning to food bank after being furloughed: 'They are there for this time of need'
A widowed mother of three in New Jersey is hoping to reduce the "stigma" surrounding food bank assistance after she was furloughed from her job and left without options amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Belmont Stakes will be held, with no one in grandstands, on June 20
Normally the third leg of horse racing's Triple Crown, the New York contest will now be first out of the gate.
- CDC plans sweeping COVID-19 antibody study in 25 metropolitan areas
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans a nationwide study of up to 325,000 people to track how the new coronavirus is spreading across the country into next year and beyond, a CDC spokeswoman and researchers conducting the effort told Reuters.
- Coronavirus Coloring Book
St. Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital provides a coronavirus coloroing book to help children learn more about the virus and protecting themselves from it.
- Parents use creativity to take kids on driveway adventures
(We Are The Mighty)
Sidewalk chalk is the unexpected hero of stay-at-home orders.
- A children’s storybook - Our smallest warriors, our strongest medicine: Overcoming COVID-19
(Center for American Indian Health)
The Center for American Indian Health and Johns Hopkins University provide online storybook to help children coping with impacts of COVID-19.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.