The TAPS Daily - September 15, 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.
- Amid Postal Delays, Senator Wants Assurances on Military Absentee Voting
A former Democratic presidential candidate is using her position on the Senate committee responsible for election oversight to press for improvements to absentee voting for U.S. troops.
- Gulf Coast military bases brace for Hurricane Sally
Military installations on the northeastern Gulf Coast braced for heavy winds and torrential rain on Tuesday as Hurricane Sally approached the shoreline.
- Haze Spreads Across U.S. As Wildfires Continue To Tear Through The West
Wildfires in the Western U.S. continue to blaze, with much of the activity centered in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
- Trump awards Army aircrews who rescued hundreds during California wildfire
President Donald Trump awarded seven California National Guard soldiers the Distinguished Flying Cross on Monday for rescuing 242 campers trapped by the massive wildfires.
- Study hints COVID-19 may have been in the U.S. as early as December
Researchers believe they have evidence the novel coronavirus may have been circulating in the U.S. as early as late December, about a month before the current timeline shows.
- VA's active coronavirus cases decline, but deaths continue to mount
Active coronavirus cases in the VA health care system are at their lowest levels in nearly three months, but remain on pace to add another 600 deaths from the illness by the end of the month.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month News
- Veteran Suicide Prevention Bills Will Move Forward After Committees Reach Compromise
The House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees have agreed on veteran suicide prevention legislation that would provide grants to charities and other non-governmental organizations focused on mental health and ensure that veterans have access to care during mental health crises.
- Home Base Nation Podcast - Featuring Air Force Veteran and TAPS Founder, Bonnie Carroll
Dr. Ron Hirschberg talks with Presidential Medal Of Freedom recipient and Founder of TAPS, Maj. Bonnie Carroll on the concept of complicated grief, and how love does live on after loss.
- VA joins Army in major DOD suicide prevention research
An ongoing Defense Department-directed epidemiological study recently got a helping hand that could help generate actionable recommendations to reduce military suicides.
- ‘Our world stopped’: Family of Fort Hood soldier calls for more suicide prevention resources
Still, despite her loss, the mother of a Fort Hood soldier who died by suicide has a simple message: she wants everyone to remember the names of these soldiers.
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
- Landmark Bill Would Designate 12 Illnesses as Connected to Burn Pits
Lawmakers introduced legislation that would streamline the process for veterans to receive disability benefits for diseases presumed related to burn pits and other battlefield pollutants.
- Jon Stewart leads renewed fight on benefits for burn pit victims
Veterans advocates launched a new campaign for additional recognition and aid for troops exposed to toxic burn pit fumes during overseas deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Lawmakers to officially introduce #IAmVanessaGuillen bill Wednesday
Lawmakers will introduce a bill Wednesday on Capitol Hill that supporters say could lead to greater accountability and reform regarding sexual harassment and assault in the military.
- Didn't receive a stimulus check? The IRS wants to help you.
The Internal Revenue Service is making a last-ditch effort to reach 9 million Americans who are eligible for — but have not yet claimed — their CARES Act stimulus money.
- Lucas puts support behind bipartisan Military Spouse Retirement Security Act
U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) signed on to cosponsor bipartisan legislation to help military spouses save for retirement by expanding access to employer-sponsored retirement plans.
- California passes law making it easier for disabled vets to get license plates
California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed legislation that will make it easier for disabled military veterans to get disability license plates.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- Top health official accused of politicizing U.S. mental health agency
The head of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) made public statements that have angered some who say she is politicizing the office.
- Even Exercise May Not Ease Pandemic-Linked Stress
Exercise is often recommended to combat stress and anxiety. But it might not be the solution to your pandemic-related worries, new research indicates.
- 4 ways to deal with financial stress
The coronavirus pandemic is putting financial pressure on millions of Americans.
- AF active duty accessions dropped by 7,000 after COVID hit
(Air Force Times)
The Air Force is on track to access as many as 7,000 fewer active-duty airmen in fiscal 2020 than it did last year, after the coronavirus upended the Air Force’s personnel plans.
- Guardsmen Serve Throughout Nation, World
Americans regard the National Guard as a United States-based force, but, in truth, it's hard to go anywhere in the world and not see a soldier wearing an Army National Guard patch.
- 'He will be truly missed' — Fort Wainwright soldier dies
(Task & Purpose)
A soldier at Fort Wainwright passed away on Sunday, the installation announced on Tuesday.
- For 'Ike,' A Monument Unlike Any Other: Eisenhower Memorial Is Dedicated In D.C.
The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be dedicated on Thursday.
- Leroy Petry says someone stole his Medal of Honor license plate
A Medal of Honor recipient says someone stole his speciality plate off one of his vehicles last week while it was parked at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
- On the 19th anniversary of 9/11, a military working dog and his Marine handler were reunited
A Military Working Dog and his Marine Corps veteran handler are together again.
- Steelers' Alejandro Villanueva bears name of legendary soldier Alwyn Cashe on helmet
(Task & Purpose)
Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger and an offensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, bore the name of Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe on his helmet during Monday's game.
- Sports Heroes Who Served: Pro Football Player to Formidable Marine
Ernest C. Cheatham Jr. was a former defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Colts. He was also a Marine who led troops during the Korean and Vietnam wars.
- Remains of soldier returned by North Korea in 2018 to be buried
The remains of a Missouri soldier who died nearly 70 years ago in the Korean War will be buried Thursday at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis County.
- WWII Veteran To Get Final Wish: His Casket Will Match His Passion For Handing Out Gum
(Good News Network)
When 94-year-old Suttie Economy is packed off for the sweet hereafter, his exit strategy is going to be a little sweeter than most in a casket decked out like a pack of Juicy Fruit gum.
Military Family News
- This 59-Year-Old Army BCT Grad Is About to Be the New Guy in His Son’s Unit
Staff Sgt. Monte Gould is the oldest-ever graduate of the Army's current Basic Combat Training Course. Now he plans to join his son, Spc. Jarrod Gould, in the 405th Civil Affairs Battalion.
- 2020 Military Spouse Employment Summit Goes Virtual
As with many things this year, the annual Military Spouse Employment Summit, hosted by Hiring Our Heroes (HoH), is moving to a virtual event.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.