The TAPS Daily - October 27, 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.
- Three More VA Employees Dead from COVID-19 As Cases Spike
Three more VA employees have died of COVID-19, bringing the department's staff death toll to 61, while cases of the virus among VA patients have risen nearly 75% in the past month.
- How the Army is helping its newest soldiers vote in basic training
Thanks to the work of voting assistance officers across Army Training and Doctrine Command, new soldiers currently at basic combat training are having their absentee ballots counted too.
- Trump says we're 'rounding the turn,' but COVID-19 is spreading faster than ever, numbers show
COVID-19 infections are spreading across the United States at the fastest rate since the start of the pandemic, the latest NBC News figures showed Tuesday.
- Surgeon General Cites Horrific Tuskegee Experiment, Voices Vaccine Distribution Concerns
Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams is warning some American populations may be reluctant to take a COVID-19 vaccine because of the nation's dark history of racial discrimination.
- Analysis: Amy Coney Barrett joins the Supreme Court in unprecedented times
No matter how long Justice Amy Coney Barrett sits on the bench, the conditions under which she started are not likely to fade soon from the nation's memory.
- Halloween full blue moon is also the hunter's moon
For the first time in decades there will be a full moon visible across the U.S. on Halloween night.
- How to prepare for the COVID-19 surge
As the weather gets colder and we face the double threat of the flu and a surge in COVID-19 cases, now is a prime opportunity to stock up on food and supplies.
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
- With Tricare fees increasing, senator pushes for grace period for veterans amid pandemic
As Tricare Select enrollment fees are set to increase, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, is urging for a 12-month grace period for veterans to ensure they don't lose health care during the pandemic.
- VA Says It Has Already Awarded More Than Half a Billion in 'Blue Water Navy' Claims
Nearly half of the claims for "Blue Water Navy" Agent Orange benefits have been processed by the VA and about 71% thus far approved for more than $664 million in retroactive benefits.
- Here's what military retirees who are affected by new Tricare Select fees should do now
Defense health officials are encouraging military retirees who will have to start paying for their Tricare Select health care coverage as of January 1 to take action now to set up the payment process.
- Tricare to Offer Free Physical Therapy For Back Pain in Some Locations
Beginning January 1, Tricare beneficiaries in 10 states will have access to free physical therapy sessions for lower back pain.
- Medal of Honor for Iraq War hero Cashe delayed again
Alwyn Cashe’s family has waited more than a decade for the Iraq War hero to be recognized with the Medal of Honor. Now, they’ll have to wait a little longer.
- VA loans: How do they work, and who is eligible?
A VA loan is a mortgage for military families with a low interest rate and no minimum down payment.
- TSP Contribution Limits Remain Unchanged for 2021
The IRS has announced that the maximum amount of money you can contribute to retirement savings plans like the Thrift Savings Plan will remain unchanged for 2021.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- Seeking the Military Suicide Solution Podcast, Episode 40: David Bachmann
This podcast examines military and veterans suicide, offering new insights based on research and effective clinical and peer support practices in suicide prevention.
- Family caregivers struggle with added mental stress of COVID-19
Caregiving is hard under normal circumstances. Isolation and the inability to access services because of the COVID-pandemic has made it even more difficult.
- How To Talk To Your Kids About Halloween And COVID-19
Explaining to children why Halloween will be different this year, and answering their questions, is key to reducing their worries and fears.
- Have a Happy Trigger-Free Halloween
Halloween and some of the “festivities” that happen during it can be triggering to some people. Here are a few ways things might be triggering and what might help.
- Poll Shows People Are Picking Up Healthy New Habits As a Result of Being Home in Pandemic
Good News Network
A survey of 2,000 adults revealed that more than a third have picked up and embraced good habits during lockdown.
- 4 highly effective ways to deal with anxiety
Chances are you’re experiencing some stress and anxiety right now. Between the pandemic, politics, and the economic downturn, there are plenty of potential calamities out there.
- 5 ways to design a better mental health future for a stressed-out workforce
Almost 41% of Americans struggle with mental health issues stemming from the pandemic, but many companies remain ill-equipped to address the problem, says this McKinsey executive.
- Navy Orders Aviation Stand-Down After Plane Crash Kills 2 in Alabama
Navy aviation units that aren't currently deployed were directed to hold a service-wide safety stand-down following a pair of recent crashes, including one that killed two military officers.
- Emails reveal how Captain Crozier's pleas for help from the Navy fell on deaf ears
Task & Purpose
The day after three sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Captain Brett Crozier knew his crew faced a serious threat from the disease.
- Army confident in its COVID-19 precautions as soldiers train amid fall surge
Army leaders say the service’s public health measures are sufficient to stem surges in coronavirus cases among soldiers as the global pandemic trends into the fall and winter.
- Montana National Guard to Help with Prison COVID-19 Outbreak
The Montana Army National Guard has been activated to help officers at a state prison contain a coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Steve Bullock said Monday.
- Navy chief killed in forklift accident at Norfolk
A U.S. Navy chief died October 16 after he was struck by a forklift on a pier at Naval Station Norfolk, officials confirmed this week.
- Colorado Guard joins fight against East Troublesome wildfire
Gov. Jared Polis activated the Colorado National Guard to assist the State Emergency Operations Center and incident commander during the East Troublesome Fire near Grand Lake.
- Paris train attack hero, a former Oregon National Guardsman, makes bid for Congress
In 2015, Alek Skarlatos and two friends thwarted an attack by a gunman on a Paris-bound train. Now he’s hoping to ride his moment of fame to get a seat in Congress.
- Volunteers building new home for Vietnam veteran in Indiana
A Vietnam veteran who lived in his central Indiana home without power and water for more than a year is getting a brand-new residence thanks to volunteers who are rebuilding it.
- Senator Bill Bradley Was an Air Force Vet, Olympian and Two-Time NBA Champion
Bill Bradley is a former professional basketball player, U.S. senator, and Vietnam veteran.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.