The TAPS Daily - October 21, 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.
- Pelosi suggests coronavirus relief deal could slip past November elections
Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Wednesday that a deal on a coronavirus relief package may not come together before the Nov. 3 elections.
- Army rules Specialist Vanessa Guillen's death was 'in the line of duty' entitling her family for benefits
The Army announced it decided Specialist Vanessa Guillén's death was "in the line of duty," qualifying the murdered soldier's family for benefits.
- Active coronavirus cases among VA patients up more than 70 percent in 30 days
Active coronavirus cases among VA patients are up more than 70% in the last month and now sit at their highest level since early August, according to data released by the department this week.
- How to stay safe when hitting the polls this election season
CDC issues health and safety guidelines for voters and poll workers, including preventive measures and voting options to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
- Pope calls for civil unions for same-sex couples, in major departure from Vatican doctrine
Pope Francis called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples in a major departure from the position held by the Vatican’s doctrinal office.
- Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to federal criminal charges related to opioid crisis
The maker of OxyContin, has agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges for its role in creating the nation's opioid crisis and will pay more than $8 billion and close down the company.
- Yom Kippur Zoom reunites Holocaust survivors 71 years later
Stars & Stripes
A chance mention of a name in a Zoom prayer service led to a reunion between two Holocaust survivors who hadn't seen each other since they were children.
TAPS In the News
- TAPS News Archive
Catch up on all the TAPS news stories over the years on the TAPS media resource page.
Government Relations / Benefits
- VA officials refuse to participate in Senate hearing on landmark veterans health care law
Stars & Stripes
Officials for the VA declined to participate in a Senate hearing about the progress in implementing the Mission Act, a law passed to help improve health care for veterans.
- Families of veterans who died in outbreak speak to lawmakers
Family members of veterans who died during a coronavirus outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home testified before lawmakers.
- VA Plans to Outsource All Compensation and Pension Exams
The VA is eliminating its in-house compensation and pension exam program and will outsource all of the exams, which are crucial to determining whether veterans are eligible for VA benefits.
- 'Soldiers' Careers Depend on It': Senators Want to Halt Army Combat Fitness Test Rollout
Two senators are asking to pause implementation of the new Army Combat Fitness Test, which they say sets unrealistic standards for some soldiers.
- A 'Big Fight Coming' over Defense Budget if Dems Sweep Election, Lawmaker Says
The Senate and House passed their respective versions of the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act in July and are set to work on a compromise.
- Approval expected soon for DoD civilians to shop in military exchanges
Big Navy is trying to add a bit of extra cash to sailors' pockets to mitigate the pain and inconvenience of longer deployments that have come to mark the COVID-19 era.
- Troops' weight allowances for household goods moves may increase by next summer
The military services are working to increase the household goods weight allowances of service members across the board, an Army leader said during a recent forum.
- OPM finalizes rules to address new and underperforming employees
OPM released a final rule pairing down the process of dealing with underperforming employees while encouraging probationary periods for employees just entering government service.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- Coronavirus - Mental Health
Maintaining and enhancing your mental health and well-being during the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
- Suicide Prevention Office Launches Campaign for Dealing with Stressors in Relationships
Research has shown relationship difficulties are at the heart of many problems in the military, and DoD officials are programs in place for service members and families to get help they need.
- Social-distancing hobbies that will help decrease your stress level
We Are the Mighty
2020 sure hasn't been the most relaxing year, now has it? If you're anything like me then you're over everything.
- Garden to Table, Culture to Community: A Soldier Channels Resilience Through Cooking
This Soldier channels his resilience amidst the challenges of being deployed during the COVID-19 pandemic by connecting with his cultural community and cooking.
- Coronavirus, election stress impacting nation's mental health, psychologists warn
Nearly 1 in 5 adults surveyed said their mental health is worse than it was at this time last year.
- Mental Health Benefits Are A Long-Term Strategy, Not A Contingency Plan
Companies need to adapt their employee well-being strategies for the long-haul journey — offering both physical and mental health benefits even after a COVID-19 vaccine is found.
- For Maybe the First Time Ever, the Navy and Marine Corps Had No Flying Fatalities over a Year
For the first time in nearly a century, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps went an entire year without a single aviation accident-related fatality.
- Mid-October numbers indicate increased turnout of military absentee voters
Some early statistics indicate this year’s absentee voting turnout among military and overseas citizen voters may far surpass the turnout for the 2016 general election.
- How the Ohio National Guard is helping with food insecurity during coronavirus outbreak.
"The scale is just incredible. It's almost incomprehensible," Commander of the Ohio National Guard, says of food insecurity as a result of the pandemic.
- Museum to unveil papers that shed light on early years of 'Old Ironsides,' Navy
The U.S.S. Constitution Museum has acquired more than 150 documents that shed light on the warship’s early years and the young United States' first international conflict.
- Air Force Base Finds Creative Way to Disinfect Classrooms
The Air Force Base is employing a different way of disinfecting classrooms — a fog machine.
- More vets running for Congress this election, but numbers on Capitol Hill may still drop
181 veterans are up for election to Congress; an increase of about 5 percent from two years ago.
- Bob Dole Marks WWII Anniversary with a Reflection on Sacrifice and Service
As the world commemorates the 75th anniversary of World War II, TAPS friend, Senator Bob Dole, reflects on the service and sacrifice of those who fought alongside me.
Military Family News
- How to talk to kids about war
We Are The Mighty
No kid should live in a bubble, but when it comes to armed conflicts — messy, frightening events that they are — parents should tread carefully.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.