The TAPS Daily - November 17, 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.
- Acting SECDEF assures end of 'generational' Mideast wars in partial drawdown
Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller announced the U.S. will draw down its troop levels to 2,500 in both Iraq and Afghanistan in the new year.
- After public outcry, SECARMY directs Arlington National Cemetery to allow holiday wreaths
Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy has directed Arlington National Cemetery to reverse course and allow the annual wreath laying at veterans' graves by Wreaths Across America.
- A 'Sacred Obligation:' Jill Biden Pledges Support for Military Families as First Lady
In her first widely broadcast appearance since the election, Jill Biden pledged continued support for military families -- an extension of the work undertaken when she served as second lady
- Navy Commander Victor Glover is the first Black astronaut on the International Space Station
Navy Commander Victor Glover arrived on the International Space Station Tuesday morning making history as the first Black crew member aboard the ISS.
- Thanksgiving on Zoom: Your family get-together can surpass 40 minutes
Zoom announces no time limits on family video get-togethers for Thanksgiving.
- New Orleans Mayor Cancels Mardi Gras Parades In 2021
Parades will be prohibited at New Orleans' Mardi Gras celebration in 2021 to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Mayor LaToya Cantrell's office said Tuesday.
Child Grief Awareness Month News
- A boy lost both parents to COVID-19. Family asks for help celebrating his 5th birthday
At just 4 years old, Raiden Gonzalez has lost both his parents. Coronavirus stole their lives four months apart, leaving Raiden with only a few years' worth of memories to cherish for a lifetime.
- Educators Say COVID-19 Has Greatly Exacerbated the Grief Support Crisis in Schools
America’s educators see an urgent need to provide greater support to students as COVID-19 amplifies increasing prevalence of grief in our nation’s schools, according to a survey released by TAPS partner, the New York Life Foundation, and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
- The Pandemic Is Raging. Here's How to Support Your Grieving Students
What teachers need to know about the science of grief.
- Children's Grief Awareness Movie Bracket Challenge
National Alliance for Grieving Children
The films listed in the Movie Bracket Challenge feature characters coping with loss yet also find support and comfort as they process their emotions and learn to move forward.
- How to help a grieving child, plus resources from Pathways Center for Grief & Loss
Grieving children want to be heard. Listening is one of the most important things adults can do.
- Talking with Children about Tragic Events
The Dougy Center
Here are some things for adults to keep in mind as you struggle with how to talk with children following tragic events, such as natural disasters, plane crashes, or school shootings.
TAPS In the News
- 3 Step Hiking Guide to Prepare for Any Trail - Even Grief
TAPS Outdoors invites you to celebrate National Take A Hike Day on Tuesday, November 17, with your fellow survivors across the nation!
- TAPS Facebook Live with The Right Stuff's Patrick J. Adams
Join TAPS for a Facebook Live Q&A on Wednesday, November 18 at 7 p.m. Eastern with Patrick J. Adams from National Geographic’s "The Right Stuff" on Disney+ interviewed by United States Space Force Captain & TAPS Legacy Mentor, Nathaniel Lee.
- 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 push for care expansion for Agent Orange veterans
More than 100 more members of Congress are pushing their colleagues to expand care for Vietnam veterans ill from Agent Orange exposure in the final defense spending and policy bill. TAPS is supporting this critical legislation to care for our Vietnam veterans and their families.
- VA Disability Claims Backlog Spiked to 300,000 During Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a backlog of about 300,000 new disability claims at the VA, the head of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) said Tuesday.
- Volunteers wanted for VA COVID-19 treatment clinical trials
The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a nationwide effort to recruit volunteers to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials at select VA facilities across the country.
- The Military Times guide to Tricare and FEDVIP open season
Tricare Open Season runs through December 14. This is the only time of year you can enroll in Tricare or make changes. Find out more.
- Arizona lawmakers push for Space Command headquarters
Air Force Times
Members of Arizona’s congressional delegation are advocating for the state to be selected as the location of the permanent headquarters of the U.S. Space Command.
- The Pentagon failed its audit again, but sees progress
The U.S. Department of Defense has once again failed to achieve a clean audit, but officials are urging patience for what is expected to be a long-term effort.
- Watch Gary Sinise Support a Campaign to Pay Off Veteran Mortgages
TAPS friend, Gary Sinise, participated in the Veterans United Home Loans campaign to salute and support veterans on Veterans Day by paying off the mortgages of former service members.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- President-elect Joe Biden's grief could help America heal
President-elect Joe Biden is public about his grief, and that could help millions of Americans grieving right now, sociologists tell Business Insider.
- How the military can lead on mental health and COVID-19
The military holds a unique advantage of having an elevated level of visibility and input into service member’s social determinants of health and, as a result, risk and protective factors.
- Unemployed face additional mental health burdens as joblessness stretches on
As COVID-19 surges experts say the mental health of millions of unemployed Americans is at risk.
- The impact of coronavirus lockdowns on kids’ mental health
Mental health-related emergency department visits among children under 18 increased this year.
- The Dinner Party Non-Profit Organization Helps Adults Deal With Grief
The Dinner Party, a nonprofit organization, helps adults who have experienced the loss of a parent, partner, child, sibling, other close family member, or close friend.
- Report: President Trump asked senior leaders about military options to strike Iran
President Donald Trump asked advisors in the past week if he had military action options against Iran following recent reports of the country’s significant increase in its nuclear stockpile.
- Pentagon Plan Calls for Pulling All Troops from Somalia
A White House plan to reduce U.S. forces in conflict areas includes removing troops based in Somalia, where the military has expanded operations against al-Qaida-linked fighters.
- German defense leaders have 'feelers out' on sudden U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan
Governments in Germany and other NATO states are alarmed by reports of a significant U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan during the final weeks of the Trump administration.
- Navy publishes scientific paper on USS Theodore Roosevelt COVID-19 outbreak
U.S. Navy Medicine has published a comprehensive analysis of the USS Theodore Roosevelt COVID-19 outbreak of spring 2020 in the New England Journal of Medicine on November 11, 2020.
- Female Combat Deaths Don't Erode War Support, Study Finds
Women's combat deaths do not erode public support for armed conflicts any more than the deaths of male soldiers, according to a new study.
- NC flags ordered to fly at half-staff in honor of Army soldier killed in Egypt helicopter crash
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has ordered all U.S. and state flags lowered to half-staff in honor of a North Carolina-based soldier killed in a helicopter crash in Egypt.
- Meet the Delaware Guard’s only female warrant officer Black Hawk pilot
Warrant Officer Kristina Multani attributes her can-do attitude to her parents who emigrated to the United States from Ukraine when she was a baby.
- Biden's pick for VA Secretary may be a post-9/11 veteran
After nearly two decades of overseas deployments and combat for U.S. service members, the VA could be poised to get its first leader with experience serving overseas in the recent wars.
- This Veteran Marked Veterans Day Jumping from the World War I Memorial
The Legacy Jump from the National World War I Memorial and Museum in Kansas City brought together living veterans of all eras to celebrate Veterans Day.
- Scottsdale tribe builds 5-acre memorial to USS Arizona
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community built the memorial as a tribute to those who were aboard the USS Arizona when it was attacked and sank at Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
Military Family News
- Two sets of sisters graduate from Parris Island Marine Corps
The Valentine sisters and the Placido Jaramillo sisters all graduated Marine Corps recruit training at Parris Island in South Carolina together.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.