The TAPS Daily - May 27, 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.
- Weather forces scrub of Crew Dragon launch with two former military test pilots aboard
Launch scrubbed over weather concerns. Next attempt will be 3:22 p.m. Saturday.
- Army reservist who died of coronavirus had just become a father
(Stars and Stripes)
Army Sgt. Simon Zamudio, 34, a reservist from Illinois, died Friday due to complications from the coronavirus at a suburban Chicago hospital, military officials said Wednesday.
- Redefining Self-Care in the age of COVID-19
Instead of self-care as self-indulgence or avoidance, perhaps it is as any activity that forces us to participate in our emotions, our lives and our bodies.
- A survivor of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and cancer just became an Air Force major—from her porch
(Task and Purpose)
With Memorial Day and Saturday’s Armed Forces Day fresh on our minds, Cruise’s story underscores the fact that while all servicemen and women are making a sacrifice for their country, each individual’s sacrifice is unique — and hers is particularly powerful.
- Senator Calls on Pompeo to Save Soldier's Medal of Honor from Auction
A Medal of Honor awarded to a U.S. Army private for a heroic rescue during the Spanish-American War will be auctioned off this week in Germany -- if, that is, steps are not taken to halt the sale.
- Disney proposes partial reopening of Walt Disney World on July 11
Walt Disney Co aims to begin reopening its Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando, Florida on July 11, a company executive said on Wednesday.
- 7 Ways to Keep in Touch with Family for Free
Looking for the best way to stay connected over long distances? Thankfully, there’s a video app for that. Which apps and programs work best for keeping in touch with family and other uses? Here’s a rundown.
TAPS In the News
- Kids who've lost military parents find a sense of belonging at Good Grief Camp
From the Today Show coverage of TAPS Good Grief Camp over Memorial Day weekend. Kids who’ve lost a military loved one receive support and resources to help them cope with grief.
- Military families who faced war deaths help COVID mourners with loss without goodbye
Military families who have faced the loss of a service member have noticed that their cycle of grief is strikingly similar to what Americans who lost a family member to the coronavirus are now facing.
- Maelstrom Offering New Album Free To Military & First Responders
The special promotion will run until 8 p.m. Eastern on May 29th via bandcamp. They noted, "Those who are non-service members are encouraged to pay whatever they feel comfortable with for the album (through Friday), or instead to make a charitable donation to TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors).
- Cornell elects four Trustees
The Cornell College Board of Trustees elected CEO of DynCorps International, George Krivo as new member. Krivo serves on the board of directors for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), the leading national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes.
- Dodger Stadium Lights Up In Honor Of Fallen Service Members
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors created a light display in honor of fallen heroes.
- Video: TAPS President and founder Bonnie Carroll Shares new resources for the American Public on CNN
Bonnie Carroll speaks with CNN's John King from Fort McHenry that TAPS is still here for survivors 24/7 and recently launched a new resource page for the American Public.
- Video: Remembering military heroes who died by suicide
On Memorial Day, CNN's Brianna Keilar remembers the service members and veterans who died by suicide inextricably linked to their service in the military.
- They didn't die in combat, but they lived heroic lives. Remembering military heroes who died by suicide
Are we decently honoring those who have given their all for us, if we’re focused on clinching the deal of a lifetime or grilling those burgers to perfection?
- TAPS Good Grief Camp Mentor Takes Part in Arlington National Cemetery Flags In Tradition
Army Master Sgt. Shawn Hagen, a French horn player with Pershing’s Own, participated in putting “flags in” at the thousands of gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery over Memorial Day weekend. He is a TAPS Good Grief Camp military mentor and a regular volunteer at TAPS headquarters.
- TAPS families share names and photos of their fallen heroes on Memorial Day
This Memorial Day, we invite you all to speak their names and share the lives of your fallen heroes in the comments below.
- General Martin Dempsey & U.S. Army Downrange Perform 'America' for Memorial Day
TAPS Board Member, Gen. Martin Dempsey shares the song and the story behind it which he and U.S. Army Downrange wrote for Memorial Day.
Government Relations / Benefits
- Military families need—and can’t get—mental health care
(We Are The Mighty)
Even before COVID-19, only half of military and veteran family respondents felt satisfied with their ability to access mental health care appointments, according to data released this week from the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN).
- Support Grows to Secure Federal Benefits for Activated National Guard Members
A push to extend the orders of more than 39,000 National Guard members long enough to secure their federal retirement and education benefits now has growing bipartisan support in Congress and the backing of Pentagon leadership.
- FTC warns college students of scams relating to coronavirus checks
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning college students about coronavirus-related phishing scams in which the scammers are pretending to have information about their direct payments from the IRS.
- DOD Officials Unveil COVID-Related Personnel, Move Guidance
Defense Department officials outlined a conditions-based approach to relaxing the stop-movement order that has been in effect since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Veterans Affairs budget hearing represents first steps toward normal operations for Congress
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie is set to make his annual appearance before the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday morning, a routine budget hearing that will be anything but given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic still restricting Capitol Hill operations.
- Coronavirus Has Wrecked Hospital Budgets. Trump Plan Could Leave Them In A Bigger Hole.
The Trump administration has been fighting in court with public and nonprofit hospitals since 2017 over a plan to slash the rates for drugs prescribed to Medicare patients.
- Tricare Ends Coverage of Routine Vitamin D Screenings
Tricare will no longer cover vitamin D screenings for patients who have no signs of a deficiency, according to the Defense Health Agency.
- Coronavirus delays new child care priority system, but good news for Coast Guard military families
(Military Times )
Coast Guard active duty families will get the same priority for Defense Department child care as other military families, under a recent policy change directed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
- How Federal Marijuana Policy Is Pushing Veterans into the Black Market
Reimbursement for licensing and certification tests that have been specifically approved for the GI Bill is provided by the VA.
- AER Receives $1M Grant from Lockheed Martin
Army Emergency Relief received a donation of $1 million from Lockheed Martin Corporation. The grant, delivered on May 21, will go directly to financial assistance programs for Soldiers and their Families affected by COVID-19. Lockheed Martin is a strong supporter of TAPS.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- How Americans are grieving in the midst of a pandemic
As the U.S. passes the 100,000 coronavirus deaths mark, NBC News’ Kevin Tibbles takes a look at how Americans have been grieving in the midst of a pandemic, “We as survivors must remember: no one, no matter who they were, should leave this world alone.”
- Hospices Help Families Address Disenfranchised Grief
Hospices routinely provide bereavement care to family members after a patient reaches the end of life, but increasingly during the COVID-19 pandemic they are seeing more people afflicted with disenfranchised grief.
- Coronavirus Pandemic's Mental Health Impact: Supporting At-Risk Populations
(US News and World Report)
We must help those in need now to avoid an even greater toll from the coronavirus pandemic.
- Wizards mental health anonymous mailbag
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As part of our continued efforts to support our fans during this challenging time, the Monumental Basketball mental health team answered anonymous questions. Wizards Wellness is in partnership with MedStar Health. The Washington Wizards are a partner of TAPS through the TAPS Sports & Entertainment program.
- Generalized anxiety disorder: Symptoms, diagnosis, causes, treatment
Feeling anxious, worried, or concerned is a normal part of life. However, people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) worry so intensely that it interferes with their daily life.
- Grieving and Mental Health at Home
Five ways to deal with grief at home.
- How to Deal With Grief: 8 Ways to Care for Yourself and Stay Healthy
When you're dealt bad news, such as the death of a loved one, there are likely dozens of things going through your head. Why did this happen? Why now? What happens next?
- 3 Health Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditating can do something different for everyone, but there’s one common thread: it can promote health and happiness.
- Mindfulness for Kids: 15 Mindfulness Activities for Kids
Why you should be practicing mindfulness with your kids—and 15 easy mindfulness activities to get started with.
- Top DOD Officials to Hold Virtual Town Hall Meeting
Join Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Army Gen. Mark A. Milley and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Ramón "CZ" Colón-López for a global virtual town hall meeting Thursday, May 28, at 9:30 a.m. when they will answer questions from service members, DOD civilians and family members about COVID-19. Post your questions on the Department of Defense Facebook or Twitter.
- Trump promises again to 'bring our soldiers home' from Afghanistan
President Donald Trump on Wednesday again declared his intention to “bring our soldiers back home” from Afghanistan amid reports that senior military officials are set to present a series of withdrawal plans to remove most forces there in coming months.
- Navy Announces New Rules for Deploying After Ships' COVID-19 Outbreaks
Navy units preparing to deploy must follow a host of new guidelines issued Wednesday, as the service hit hardest during the novel coronavirus pandemic tries to prevent future outbreaks at sea.
- Air Force punished black airmen more, report says — and covered it up
(Air Force Times)
The Air Force has failed to fix longstanding racial differences in its military justice system that led to black airmen being punished disproportionately more, according to a new report from the advocacy group Protect Our Defenders.
- Sergeant Major of the Army Explains How a Socially Distanced ACFT Will Work
The U.S. Army's top enlisted soldier said recently that the novel coronavirus pandemic will be only a temporary hurdle to the service transitioning to the new Army Combat Fitness Test.
- Finding ways around coronavirus restrictions, Ramstein airmen practice ‘perishable’ jumping skills
(Stars and Stripes)
Before the coronavirus upended routines around the world, airmen with the 435th Contingency Response Squadron would use a field near the German city of Worms or a drop zone in France to stay current on parachute jump requirements.
- Puerto Rico Guard tests for COVID-19 in nursing homes
The PRNG, in support of the government of Puerto Rico, is conducting COVID-19 tests in nursing homes for the elderly on the island.
- Michigan National Guardsmen Caring for the Caregivers
Veterans are special, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Michigan wants to ensure that no veterans living in Michigan veterans homes fall victim to the coronavirus.
- USS Kidd Transitions to Next Phase of COVID-19 Response
The No. 2 official in the Pentagon's office of inspector general, Glenn Fine, resigned Tuesday, several weeks after he was effectively removed as head of a special board to oversee auditing of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic relief package.
- MQ-9 Drone Crew Awarded Air Force Achievement Medals After RPG Attack
Drone operators who participated in a supply airdrop mission over Afghanistan last fall and avoided a rocket-propelled grenade in the process have received awards for the mission.
- Cal Guard honors WWII veterans during birthday celebration
Soldiers from the California Army National Guard honored World War II veterans during a birthday celebration coordinated by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
- Russia seeks 18-year jail term for Marine vet in spying trial
(Task and Purpose)
Russian prosecutors asked a court on Monday to sentence former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who is on trial accused of spying for the United States, to 18 years in a maximum security prison, his lawyer said.
- Colt 1911 pistol carried by Marine on Iwo Jima going up for auction
A Colt 1911 pistol carried during the 1945 Battle of Iwo Jima is being put up for auction on June 6.
- Las Vegas community lifts spirits of veteran battling cancer
Marine’s positive, lighthearted personality while battling stage 4 cancer inspired the veteran community in Southern Nevada to do something special.
- Colorado hospice nurse honors dying World War II veteran
Hospice nurse put together a remote Veteran Pinning Ceremony for Distinguished Service Cross veteran earned in World War II.
- 95-year-old Navy Veteran, Manchester native recovers from COVID-19
A 95-year-old veteran from Manchester has recovered from COVID-19 after battling the disease in his long-term care facility.
- WATCH NOW: Veteran discharged from hospital after 55-day battle with coronavirus
After 55 days in the hospital, a 73-year-old veteran from Hammond was ushered out by hospital employees and family cheering and waving American flags.
- The man with the French horn: Veteran dies of coronavirus at 90
“You want him recognized, even in death. It sounds so silly, it doesn’t really amount to much, but it meant a lot to us.”
Military Family News
- Military Families Have Been Pushed to the Brink by COVID-19
(Ink Stick Media)
One US Reservist spouse's story speaks to the strain many families feel.
- Gold Star father Khizr Khan discusses importance of Memorial Day
Gold Star father Khizr Khan and his family spent the Memorial Day holiday a little differently this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Proof that Military Grandparents Are the Coolest
Grandparents, parents, family members of all types are finding new ways to connect with their loved ones. Something they can certainly learn from their friends. Here are some of the ways military spouses are seeing grandparents connect.
- Career Marines talk life as a dual-serving couple
(We Are The Mighty)
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Charles Vanscoyk and his wife, Staff Sgt. Alexandra Vanscoyk, are both aviation supply specialists who recently returned to the fleet after completing tours on recruiting duty. The transition has been met with unexpected challenges that magnify the logistics needed for couples seeking successful careers and a growing family.
Other Coronavirus News
- NHL announces return to play plan
While there are still details to work out, the NHL made key return-to-play announcements on Tuesday. NHL teams are partners of TAPS through the TAPS Sports & Entertainment program.
- Women's soccer league to return to play next month with Utah tournament
The National Women’s Soccer League will resume play in June, playing 25 games in two Utah stadiums without spectators. The NWSL is a partner of TAPS through the TAPS Sports & Entertainment program.
- U.S. coronavirus deaths top 100,000
The number of deaths from the coronavirus in the United States topped 100,000 on Wednesday, a bleak moment that arrived after months of stark public health measures upended the lives of millions of Americans and battered the country's economy.
- Health officials nervously eye emerging hotspots
Public health officials are nervously eyeing cities that may become the next epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic as new models point to increased rates of transmission.
- Trump committed to July 4 celebration despite concerns about coronavirus
(Stars and Stripes)
The White House said Tuesday that President Donald Trump remains committed to holding a Fourth of July celebration in the nation's capital even as Democratic lawmakers from the region warn that the area will not be ready to hold a major event due to safety concerns about the coronavirus.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.