The TAPS Daily - May 7, 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.
- Department of Defense Victory in Europe Day Commemoration Scheduled for Friday, May 8, 10:30 a.m.
The Department of Defense will broadcast a virtual Victory in Europe Day commemoration Friday, May 8, 10:30 a.m.
- Pentagon Lifts Onerous Proof Requirements for Student Military Survivor Benefits
For college students who are the beneficiaries of a parent's military survivor benefits, the twice-yearly requirement that they verify their enrollment status at a school just got a whole lot easier.
- Officials Mull Opening Arlington Cemetery to the Public for Memorial Day
The Defense Department has yet to decide whether the traditional wreath-laying and other ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery will be open to the public for Memorial Day, cemetery officials said Wednesday.
- Puppies Bring Stress Relief to Those Fighting COVID-19
New York National Guard soldiers, airmen and active duty and civilian medical providers fighting COVID-19 in New York City are getting the benefit of licks and a wagging tail to lift their spirits.
- Welcome to your first deployment, America
(The Green Notebook)
Those of us in uniform are grateful for you. If I may now be of further service to you, America, and provide a few tips on how to survive (and thrive) now that we're all in this deployment together.
- American Red Cross launches virtual stress management workshop for veterans, military families
(News 5 Cleveland)
The American Red Cross has launched an online, interactive workshop to help the military community manage pandemic-related stress and anxiety.
- Second lady, senior spouses to participate in virtual town hall for Military Spouse Appreciation Day
(Marine Corps Times)
Military spouses are invited to join a virtual town hall beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, May 8 for a discussion of experiences and challenges spouses are facing during this coronavirus pandemic, and ways to support them. Second lady Karen Pence will offer remarks, followed by Hollyanne Milley, wife of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Army Gen. Mark Milley.
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
- Challenges remain 2 years after VA's expansion of caregiver program
This week, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation (EDF) submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs over its proposed rules to improve and standardize the VA Program for Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC), more commonly known as the VA Caregiver Program. The Caregiver Program is modeled off of TAPS best practices in peer support.
- Pandemic Spending Won't Prevent the Next Military Pay Raise, Lawmaker Says
Service members can expect another pay raise next year, despite the pressure on defense budgets from the trillions the government has already spent to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee said Thursday.
- This $7.2 billion contract will help fix problems moving service members' household goods, officials say
Service members and their families are the driving reason behind a $7.2 billion contract that will fundamentally change the process for moving household goods, officials say.
Grief / Trauma / Mental Health
- Centene To Invest In Critical Mental Health Resources
TAPS partner, Centene announces plans to provide mental health resources to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased provider training and support, establishing "warmline" call centers and expanding access to "Mental Health First Aid."
- The rise of PTSD
(The Economist - 1843 Magazine)
It has never been easier to talk about trauma. But does society’s openness have costs as well as benefits? Jesse Singal explores the best way to deal with distress.
- Finding and maintaining resilience during COVID-19 - America's Military Entertainment Brand
(We Are The Mighty)
During challenging times, connecting with our resilience and perhaps working to encourage it in others is more important than ever.
- Anxiety, grief, guilt and other normal emotions during quarantine
6 weird things you're probably feeling right now that are perfectly normal
- Kevin Love shares mental health tips for dealing with COVID-19 world
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love tries to maintain a disciplined routine. He has discovered that as the most effective way to keep his mental health strong through concerns about the novel coronavirus. The Cavaliers have been a supporter of families of fallen military in partnership with TAPS Sports & Entertainment program.
- Tacko Fall on Prioritizing Mental Health During COVID-19
Boston Celtics Center Tacko Fall knows firsthand how important taking care of one's mental health is, especially during these trying times of the coronavirus pandemic. The Celtics have been a supporter of families of fallen military in partnership with TAPS Sports & Entertainment program.
- Frontline workers' mental health at risk due to pandemic
Frontline healthcare workers may be at increased risk of PTSD and a number of other emotional disorders as a result of fighting the coronavirus.
- Local leaders look to stem coronavirus pandemic's hidden mental health toll
As COVID-19 continues to strain health systems around the country, local leaders are trying to address the mental health needs of people in their communities.
- When You're Depressed During the Pandemic
Nearly half of Americans have seen their mental health impacted by the coronavirus. But while the pandemic is grief-inducing for many, it can be especially difficult for people who were already depressed.
- Coronavirus pandemic could affect children's mental health
Experts say when kids return to campuses, the demand for mental-health care will be greater than the available services, as the impact of the coronavirus disruption has cut across societal strata, affecting children.
- 4 ways to take care of your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic
(PBS News Hour)
Psychiatrist Dr. Jessi Gold of Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and PBS NewsHour’s Amna Nawaz answered viewer questions on how to take care of our mental health and cope with things like fear and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic on May 6.
- Death doula helps the dying and grieving during coronavirus pandemic
The pandemic has brought the specter of death uncomfortably close for many of us. But there are those who can help navigate the emotional, mental, and spiritual journey of dying and grieving.
- Mother’s Day brings both grief and happiness now that my son is gone
(The Globe and Mail)
Mother’s Day is a tough one. Dread begins seeping in to me weeks beforehand, building steadily. The thought of it drains my energy and knots my body with anxiety.
- The Grief That Comes With Learning More About a Parent You Idolized and Then Lost
I’ve never really come to terms with my father’s death, a man I revered and idolized. Now, however, his memory has been tainted by recent realizations and I find myself struggling with more than just his passing.
- Inside the harrowing final minutes before a C-2A Greyhound's fatal 2017 crash into the sea
A pilot and two junior sailors died, but the crew’s calm under pressure saved the lives of eight others.
- Trump military valet has coronavirus; president again tests negative
A member of the military serving as one of President Donald Trump’s valets has tested positive for the coronavirus, the White House said Thursday.
- Updated guidance allows unhospitalized COVID-19 survivors to join the military
The command in charge of processing new recruits into the services has updated its policy for accessing coronavirus survivors, loosening restrictions banning anyone who has been diagnosed to only those who were hospitalized because of complications.
- Air Force May Miss End Strength Goals Amid Coronavirus Response Efforts, Official Says
The military service branches may fall short of their end-strength goals this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has slowed how many new recruits come into its basic training centers across the country, according to a top defense official.
- DoD Wants Help Monitoring the Spread of Coronavirus at Fort Bragg
In an attempt to find new ways to improve COVID-19 contract tracing at Fort Bragg, the U.S. Department of Defense is asking young innovators to submit their own digital solutions for monitoring the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
- NJ governor sending Guard to COVID-19-hit nursing homes
(Stars and Stripes)
New Jersey is sending 120 members of the National Guard to nursing homes hit hard by the coronavirus this weekend to help staff, Governor Phil Murphy said Thursday.
- SECDEF, in first trip since March, defends Pentagon's coronavirus efforts
Defense Secretary Mark Esper is traveling beyond Washington for the first time in nearly two months as he looks to highlight and defend a Pentagon approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic that some Senate Democrats have criticized as slow and disjointed.
- Navy halts daily COVID-19 updates for stricken ships Theodore Roosevelt and Kidd
The Navy has stopped making public the number of sailors infected with COVID-19 aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt and the destroyer Kidd.
- Restaurants, hotels poised to reopen in Germany will remain off limits for many US personnel
(Stars and Stripes)
U.S. military personnel in Germany may have to bide their time before they can enjoy a night out again in the country, where restaurants and hotels will begin to cautiously reopen this month after weeks of coronavirus closures.
- Two of the latest soldiers to earn Ranger Tabs have made Army history
(Task and Purpose)
Two soldiers, including a female servicemember, who graduated Ranger school last week have made history.
- VA celebrates nurses during National Nurses Week 2020
(We Are The Mighty)
VA nurses touch the lives of Veterans — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
- More than 5,000 veterans in recovery from coronavirus, VA says
(Stars and Stripes)
More than 5,000 veterans are in recovery after becoming infected with the coronavirus, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported this week in its first public count of recovered patients.
- VA Gets COVID Relief Money to Combat Homelessness
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Wednesday that it has received an extra $300 million to provide help to veterans who are at increased risk of homelesness as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- US Eyes Deal to Free Navy Veteran in Iran, Pushes Back on Swap
U.S. officials believe they’re making progress in efforts to secure the release from Iran of a detained Navy veteran, but they are pushing back on Iranian suggestions that a swap is in the works for an imprisoned Iranian that American officials have been trying to deport since last year.
- Six ways to support our veteran-owned businesses
(We Are The Mighty)
There has been a lot of attention on small businesses lately, but those of us in the military community need to take extra steps to support veteran-owned businesses specifically. We can't let our veteran entrepreneurs fail during these months.
- Dave Dilegge, the 'grandfather of urban warfare studies,' has died
For Dave Dilegge, the days usually started at 3 a.m. as he began to scour the internet for the latest military and national security news he’d compile for Small Wars Journal.
- How a Vietnam War PJ joined the crew of 'The Last Full Measure'
(We Are The Mighty)
"What's terrific about this movie is that it doesn't shy away from the PTSD that Vietnam War veterans really do experience,” said retired Air Force Pararescueman SMSgt John Pighini.
- Montel Williams seeks veterans for home makeovers | Military Veterans
(We Are The Mighty)
Navy veteran, Montel Williams hosts "Military Makeover with Montel" on Lifetime. The show is currently seeking nominations for veterans in need of home makeovers. Applications are due by May 31st.
Military Family News
- Helping Military Kids Understand and Cope with COVID-19 - Parent Webinar
Join US Air Force Child and Youth Programs and the Military Child Education Network for a free Parent to Parent Webinar on Helping Military Kids Cope with the #COVID19 Pandemic, May 12 at 12 p.m. Eastern.
- Military Families Making Summer PCS Moves Will Have to Follow These Strict Rules
Moving crews and the military families they're moving will have to wear face masks, practice social distancing and follow other coronavirus prevention guidelines during the peak season for permanent change of station moves this summer, defense officials said Wednesday.
- Military Spouse Mentoring Is A Responsibility We all Share
Whether you’ve been a military spouse for one year or twenty, you are a wealth of knowledge and an excellent resource for others. Mentoring those coming up behind us is a responsibility we all share, and doing it makes us better as a community.
- Blooming Together: Our Salute to Moms
(We Are The Mighty)
May is a month to celebrate military spouses and mothers, so let's give a salute to all the military spouse moms holding the family together and keeping things going on the homefront!
Across the TAPS Family
- Yuengling donates $50,000 to TAPS for COVID-19 Relief Efforts
D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., America’s Oldest Brewery®, announced today it will donate $50,000 to TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) as part of its Lagers For Heroes program and to further aid the military community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Monumental Sports - Military Appreciation Month
Father of two American military officers and Washington Wizards General Manager, Tommy Sheppard, shares why TAPS is his charity of choice.
- Taps Talks Video: Self-care Tools
This TAPS Talk with Tara Woodruff Dukes from TAPS Care Group Support discusses the natural stress responses and how we can effectively counteract them. Tara shares tips and tools, including exercises, to help with healthy stress release and stress prevention.
- Make the Most of Time at Home: Share Your Loved One's Story
Preserve your veteran's legacy in the Library of Congress so that others will have an opportunity to learn their story.
- 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
- Resources for Parents To Navigate At Home Learning
(George W. Bush Presidential Center)
As students and families across the country navigate this season of uncertainty, we've compiled a list of quality and engaging activities for children.
- Kate Middleton launches coronavirus photo portrait project in Britain
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is launching a coronavirus photo project with the U.K.'s National Portrait Gallery to capture how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting British residents, she announced Thursday.
- Students Don't Need You To Be A Perfect Teacher Right Now. They Need You To Be Honest And Human
As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week this May, it's a good time to remember that all of us are teachers in one way or another and have an important role to play in each other's lives, now more than ever.
- 22-year-old man with autism honors frontline workers with balloon art
Man with autism is bringing joy to the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Spectacular Virtual Vacations You Can Take from Home
Vacations are going virtual … for now. So dust off your empty suitcase, pour a drink of choice, and virtually travel with us to your dream destination.
- Thanks to Sheltering in Place, Animal Shelters Are Empty
A recent pet-adoption boom is the feel-good pandemic story you need right now.
- No Income. Major Medical Bills. What Life Is Like for Americans Facing Financial Ruin Due to Pandemic
The growing gap between America’s rich and everyone else is hardly new. But the extra-ordinarily rapid economic collapse catalyzed by COVID-19 has made the chasm deeper and wider, with edges that keep crumbling under the feet of those crowded on the edge.
- New COVID-19 study raises immunity hopes for recovered patients
A new study found that patients who recover from the coronavirus eventually produce antibodies to the virus, suggesting they may be capable of warding off reinfection.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.