The TAPS Daily - November 12, 2020
Welcome to The TAPS Daily - curated news and resources relevant to military, veterans, and their families. For more news and resources, visit our Government Resources page.
- 6 U.S. service members among 8 peacekeepers killed in Sinai helicopter crash.
A helicopter belonging to an international peacekeeping force has crashed in Egypt, killing six U.S. troops among eight dead, according to the Multinational Force and Observers.
- Congress passes veteran mental health and suicide prevention bills on eve of Veterans Day
The package of bills, the Veterans Comprehensive Prevention, Access to Care and Treatment (COMPACT) Act includes nine parts intended to help prevent veteran suicides. TAPS has been instrumental in moving forward this critical legislation to strengthen veterans mental health care and suicide prevention.
- Biden plans to help veterans sickened by toxic exposure
President-elect Joe Biden’s plan includes expanding the list of presumptive conditions linked to toxic exposures and increasing dollars for research on impacts of TBI and toxic exposures.
- Fate of Iraq War hero Alwyn Cashe's Medal of Honor now rests with the White House
Senate lawmakers on Tuesday unanimously approved plans to award the nation’s highest military honor to Iraq War hero Alwyn Cashe. Now the decision is up to the president.
- The Falcons show support to the families of fallen heroes through TAPS
The team and its players, both current and former, have been active in helping military families of the fallen through TAPS Sports & Entertainment program and this month honored those who served as part of the NFL’s Salute to Service, of which TAPS is an official partner.
- Coronavirus Is Surging: How Severe Is Your State's Outbreak?
More than 10 million people in the U.S. have had confirmed coronavirus infections and more than 240,000 have died. Explore the trends in your state.
- VA coronavirus cases reach record high for 10th consecutive day
The VA on Veterans Day hit its 10th consecutive day of record-high levels of active coronavirus cases among patients, more than doubling infection levels in the last month alone.
Veteran Day News
- Trump and Biden mark Veterans Day in solemn, but contrasting, wreath-laying ceremonies
President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden both marked Veterans Day by paying tribute to the nation's fallen military heroes at somber wreath-laying ceremonies Wednesday.
- Veterans Day in 2020: quiet parades, somber virtual events
Celebrations marking Veterans Day gave way to somber virtual gatherings, with many of the nation’s veterans homes barring visitors to protect from the surging coronavirus.
- Why I chose to serve in the military
Veterans share what made them sign up to serve in the U.S. military.
- Pandemic-related isolation wearing on military veterans
Veterans facing uncertainty as pandemic continues to challenge organizations that serve them.
- 'Faces of COVID' features veterans who died because of the coronavirus
"Faces of COVID," used Veterans Day to honor veterans who have died from the coronavirus.
Child Grief Awareness Month News
- Grades K–5: Grief Drawing Activity
This resource provided by TAPS partner, New York Life, helps teachers when they encounter grief in the classroom.
- Children's Grief Awareness Day - November 19, 2020
November 19 is Children’s Grief Awareness Day. Marking an opportunity for organizations to raise awareness about the needs of grieving children. Learn more and find resources here.
- How Children Grieve — Persistent myths may stand in the way of appropriate care and support
Social Work Today
The notion that children are too young to grieve remains surprisingly prevalent. That attitude is a disservice to children since it deprives them of the ability to grieve.
- Telling a child with special educational needs that someone has died
There are a few extra things to consider when telling a child with special educational needs and disabilities that someone has died.
- Why do I feel so angry after the death of my parent?
Help 2 Make Sense
Anger is a very normal response after the death of someone important.
- Games that can help you to cope with grief
Help 2 Make Sense
Here a few games that have helped kids cope with their grief or with difficult times.
TAPS In the News
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Upcoming Events
Make plans to join your TAPS Family at an upcoming event.
- TAPS News Archive
Catch up on all the TAPS news stories over the years on the TAPS media resource page.
Government Relations / Benefits
- Lawmakers Investigate Cancer Cluster of Veterans Who Served at 'K2' Base
A House committee is investigating cancer diagnoses in more than 400 veterans who served in Uzbekistan after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
- Military voters included on Trump campaign list of 'improperly cast' ballots: reports
A list produced by the Trump campaign purporting to detail instances of alleged voter fraud in Nevada contains hundreds of addresses used by active-duty military members and their families.
- Here's what military absentee voters need to know about Georgia's U.S. Senate runoff elections
Eligible residents can still register to vote in the runoff election, through December 7. Election officials will start sending out absentee ballots within a week to registered military and overseas citizens.
- Biden's transition team for veterans issues includes community advocates and former VA leaders
President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team for the VA includes several agency alumni who will spend the next few months setting policy priorities for the incoming administration.
- Senate Committee Wants to Cut Marine Corps Even Smaller, Keeps 3% Troop Pay Raise
The Senate Appropriations Committee released its version of the defense funding bill, a package containing funds for a troop pay raise but also suggests reducing the size of the Marine Corps.
- 37 Senate Dems urge mandate to rename bases honoring Confederate generals stay in defense bill
House and Senate Armed Services committee leaders are under new pressure to buck a presidential veto threat and move forward to rename bases honoring Confederate leaders.
- Retired Military Pay, VA Disability and Social Security Pay Increases for 2021
Military retirees, those who receive disability or other benefits from the VA, federal retirees and Social Security recipients will see a 1.3% increase in their monthly checks for 2021.
- Families like mine risked our lives for U.S. troops abroad. Now America is abandoning us
Task & Purpose
Iraqis targeted for helping U.S. troops are eligible to receive refugee status and resettle in the United States. But the Trump administration effectively shuttered the program.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- Suicide rate among veterans up again slightly, despite focus on prevention efforts
The rate of suicide among veterans ticked upwards in recent years despite increased public attention and funding on the problem, according to a new report released by the VA.
- Suicides and Attempts Among Veterans Dropped During Pandemic, VA Says
Suicides and suicide attempts among veterans declined during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, as did ER visits at VA hospitals for suicide-related injuries.
- Rural youth often lack access to suicide prevention services
A new study funded in part by looks at the lack of access to suicide prevention services for youth in rural communities; highlighting the need to improve availability of mental health care.
- Military Wary That Shake-Up Could Upend its Apolitical Nature
The words spoken by America's top military officer carried a familiar ring, but in the midst of a chaotic week at the Pentagon, they were particularly poignant.
- Biden’s Military Brain Trust Includes Former Navy, Marine Corps Top Leaders
A former sergeant major of the Marine Corps and the Navy's first-ever female four-star admiral are two of the military veterans on President-elect Joe Biden's government transition teams.
- Study of Marine recruits finds fever, symptom screening misses many coronavirus cases
Marine Corps Times
Temperature and COVID-19 symptom checks like the ones used at schools and doctor’s offices have again proved inadequate for spotting coronavirus infections and preventing outbreaks.
- A-10 Pilot Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross for Landing Without Canopy, Landing Gear
Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett presented the award last week to Major Brett DeVries, with the 107th Fighter Squadron at Michigan's Selfridge Air National Guard Base.
- Navy's Newest Ship to Be Named for Marine Sergeant Major John Canley, Vietnam War Hero
Another Navy expeditionary sea base will be named for a Marine Corps hero who earned the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam.
- This Immigrant Soldier Earned the Medal of Honor a Year Before He Became an American
Not every American hero was an American when they fought in the nation's wars, including Medal of Honor recipient Alfred V. Rascon.
- Half a century ago, this soldier escaped captors in Africa. He's still fighting for the recognition
Task & Purpose
The POW Medal recognizes brave and honorable conduct on the part of captive soldiers, but the U.S. was not officially at war with the hostiles who took this U.S. Soldier prisoner.
Military Family News
- Vanessa Guillén’s family: Fort Hood’s new memorial gate means leadership ‘listened to us’
Task & Purpose
The family of Specialist Vanessa Guillén is supportive of a new memorial gate at Fort Hood named for the slain soldier, their attorney said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.