The TAPS Daily - September 14, 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.
- Federal Workers And Lawmakers Are Pushing Back On Trump's Forced Payroll Tax Deferral
With major companies opting out of the president's tax deferment, the administration is making it a requirement for the one employer the president can control — the federal government.
- VA Data Breach Leaves Personal Info of 46,000 Veterans Exposed
Hackers have tapped into personal information of more than 46,000 veterans kept by the VA, gaining access to data such as Social Security numbers, officials said Monday.
- How Many Troops Are Dying in Training Accidents And Why?
More service members have died in training accidents than in combat every year since 2015.
- Map: See how the wildfires across the Western U.S. compare to where you live
See how the size of the fires in the Western U.S. look when overlaid on your town.
- Army COVID-19 vaccine may produce a side benefit: Cure for the common cold
Scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research are advancing a vaccine that may be able to prevent strains of the common cold in the future.
- ‘This all could have been prevented’ — Inside the disappearance and death of Vanessa Guillén
(Task & Purpose)
Vanessa Guillen joined the Army in 2018. Her widely-publicized death at Fort Hood has forced a reckoning at the highest levels of the Army. But she was more than just a soldier.
- Montgomery family gifts late son’s car to U.S. Army veteran
One family’s loss has turned into a blessing in disguise for a Montgomery County military veteran who has been gifted a car to help steer his life in a new direction.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month News
- Thousands of messages show what it really means to help someone who's suicidal
Two friends share more than 5,000 of their chats, revealing the complexity of suicidal suffering.
- National Suicide Prevention Week: Camila Cabello Encourages Fans to Seek Help If They're Suffering
Camila Cabello, who has been candid about her own struggles with anxiety in the past, is encouraging others to ask for help if their mental health is suffering.
- Reducing self-harm and suicide in autistic adults
Researchers are inviting partner organizations and charities to work with them to help shape and progress a study to develop new ways of reducing self-harm and suicide in autistic adults.
- Curbing suicide with a text
How one psychologist is modernizing the approach to suicide prevention with GIFs, texts and simple, caring messages.
TAPS In the News
- We're All in This Together - COVID-19 Resources for American Public
Resources and support to help anyone facing the impacts of COVID-19.
- TAPS News Archive
Catch up on all the TAPS news stories over the years on the TAPS media resource page.
Government Relations / Benefits
- New Bill Would Force VA to Cover Vets' Burn Pit Illnesses
Under a bill expected to be introduced tomorrow, veterans ill from toxic exposures could have a new avenue for benefits.
- Burn Pits Linked to Chronic Cough and Wheezing in Veterans, New Study Shows
A new report finds some evidence that chronic respiratory symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing, are linked to service in the Gulf War and Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Federal judge rules Pennsylvania's coronavirus orders are unconstitutional
A federal judge ruled on Monday that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) coronavirus orders, which shut down the state, closed businesses and limited gatherings, were unconstitutional.
- American could face fine over Garmisch-Partenkirchen virus spike in Germany
Officials in Germany are considering imposing hefty fines against an American linked to a cluster of coronavirus cases in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
- Court argument seeks reversal of military HIV policies
Lawyers for service members whose careers were halted after testing positive for HIV asked a federal judge to overturn policies restricting their service as irrational and discriminatory.
- The top 50 most popular schools for Tuition Assistance
The most popular schools chosen by current service members tapping their Tuition Assistance benefits includes a mix of public, private and for-profit institutions.
- OC Sheriff's Deputies Falsified Military Orders For Paid Time Off: Official
(Task & Purpose)
Seven Orange County Sheriff’s Department employees are under federal investigation for allegedly taking more paid time off as military reservists than they actually served.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Are a Vicious Cycle for Veterans
By labeling PTSD and SUD as co-occurring, it may appear that these two diagnoses are isolated and acting separately within an individual. The truth is that they are often intertwined.
- What being widowed at the age of 26 taught me about grief
Despite being a therapist with a background in trauma and grieving, this young widow says she learned more through her first-hand experience than she ever could have in school.
- Stop 'demonizing' college students for coronavirus spread, mental health experts urge
Mental health experts say it’s time to show empathy to students, rather than to scapegoat them.
- Poll: Pandemic takes toll on mental health of young adults
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a harsh toll on the mental health of young Americans, with adults under 35 especially likely to report negative feelings or stress and anxiety.
- U.S. commander says evidence hasn't corroborated intelligence of Russian bounties on troops
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says he has not seen evidence to corroborate claims that Russian officials placed bounties on U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East.
- When will the U.S. military return to pre-COVID normal? Probably never, this admiral says
Don’t count on the U.S. military returning to the pre-COVID-19 status quo, according to the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, Adm. Charles “Chas” Richard.
- Nearly 400 Rescued by National Guard from Raging Creek Wildfire
In two separate endeavors, the California Army National Guard was able to rescue 396 people and 27 animals from the Creek Fire in Fresno and Madera counties, Guard officials said.
- Air National Guardsman Receives Purple Heart For Injuries During Taliban Attack
(Task & Purpose)
A Georgia Air National Guardsman received the Purple Heart on Sunday for injuries he sustained during an attack by the Taliban in Afghanistan last year.<
- Recruit from Wisconsin found dead in Fort Jackson barracks
An Army recruit found dead in Fort Jackson barracks is the fourth death at base in a year.
- Pentagon identifies airman killed in Kuwait vehicle accident, 2 others injured
(Air Force Times)
DoD has identified an airman killed September 12 in a single-vehicle, non-combat related accident while conducting a routine patrol outside the perimeter of Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait.
- Sailor dies in D.C. hit and run
A Washington, D.C.-based sailor and K-9 handler was killed late last month after he was struck by a vehicle in the city, officials have confirmed.
- Marine who grew up around his father's New York fire station graduates boot camp on September 11
(Marine Corps Times)
Rocco Cusano is a New York firefighter. His son, Justin, is a new Marine. They each have their own connection to September 11th. This is their story.
- SD AG, An Army Reservist, Allegedly Hit Man With Car but Reported It Was a Deer
Jason Ravnsborg, the attorney general of South Dakota, reported hitting a deer with his car on Saturday night but the body of the man who was actually struck was the next day.
- Coast Guard veteran details how he helped families escape Tacoma wildfire
A Coast Guard veteran says his training kicked in and helped him get “in the mindset needed to move into action” as he drove past a wildfire and stopped to help families escape.
- Navy veteran: For 2 decades, VA never told him he had HIV
A U.S. Navy veteran says for more than two decades he had no idea he was living with HIV virus because government health care workers never informed him of his positive test result.
- VA to help quell COVID-19 outbreak in Hawaii veterans home
The federal Department of Veterans Affairs has sent a team of health care staffers to help contain a coronavirus outbreak at a veterans home in Hawaii.
- Combat vet killed by Texas deputy buried in Alabama on 9/11
Shot dead by officers who were sent to aid him, this Army veteran was buried Friday on September 11, the anniversary of the date that sent him down the path to war.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.