The TAPS Daily - September 22, 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.
- 'Enormous And Tragic': U.S. Has Lost More Than 200,000 People To COVID-19
The U.S. death toll is the highest in the world, by a large measure. Despite having less than 5% of the global population, the U.S. has suffered more than 20% of COVID-19 deaths worldwide.
- Better Know A Ballot | Election 2020 | How to Vote
CBS - The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
On National Voter Registration Day, make sure you know voting procedures in your state. In these unprecedented times it’s important not to leave planning how to vote until the last minute.
- Automatic citizenship has been restored for some troops' children born abroad
The Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act restores automatic citizenship for American children born abroad and in the custody of at least one military parent.
- There are now more than 40,000 cases of COVID-19 at American colleges and universities
A new tally reveals that across U.S. universities and colleges, 40,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed among students, faculty and staff.
- CDC's Halloween Guidelines Warn Against Typical Trick-Or-Treating
The CDC has issued new guidelines on how to celebrate Halloween safely. No big surprise: Classic door-to-door trick-or-treating and crowded, boozy costume parties are not recommended.
- 50 fun things to do this fall regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic
The pandemic can't change that it's still the season of leaves falling and light sweaters and jackets, with the morning and twilight feeling crisp but not too chilly.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month News
- Congress passes bill establishing 988 for suicide hotline, awaits President's signature
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, creating a three-digit number (988) for suicide prevention and mental health crises.
- Bill Creating LGBTQ-Inclusive 988 Suicide Hotline Now on Trump's Desk
Legislation establishing a three-digit number, 988, for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, is now on the president’s desk and includes several provisions specific to LGBTQ+ people.
- COVID-19 and suicide prevention: Parallel public health strategies for veterans, service members
TAPS Kim Ruocco writes about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our public health approaches in suicide prevention and saving lives.
- Hope for the Warriors and PREVENTS team up to address suicide
A nonprofit has teamed up with the PREVENTS Task Force to advance mental health and suicide prevention efforts for military and families. TAPS is a member of the PREVENTS Task Force.
- Stay Socially Connected While Physically Distancing
While being physically present may not be an option right now, there are still many other ways to #BeThere for someone while staying safe in a pandemic.
- New Army website offers latest resources to promote resilience, readiness
The robust website is the Army hub for Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, Ready and Resilient, Army Suicide Prevention, and the Army Substance Abuse Program.
TAPS In the News
- Our Hearts Are With You - TAPS Natural Disaster Response
TAPS offers assistance to military survivors impacted by disasters including COVID-19.
- 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
- $2 Million in Funds Earmarked for COVID-19 Went to Buy Army Greens Uniforms
A giant pot of money intended for pandemic relief needs within DoD has been used to fund, among other things, the Army's new service uniform. And Congress is none too happy about it.
- Find Your Polling Place - Secure Families Initiative
(Military Vote Coalition)
Today is National Voter Registration Day! Be sure to finalize your registration and request your absentee ballot if needed. TAPS is a member of the Military Vote Coalition.
- Virtual appeals hearings now available for vets disputing VA compensation claim decisions
Housing advocates aren’t wondering whether the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will lead to an increase in homeless veterans, but instead how big the increase will be.
- House approves bill ordering VA to change gender-exclusive motto
(Stars & Stripes)
The Honoring All Veterans Act would change the VA motto based on President Lincoln’s quote to better keep the promise to care for all who have served the country regardless of gender.
- Repayment Of Medicare Loans Could Hit Rural Hospitals Hard
(Task & Purpose)
Rural hospitals teeter on a financial cliff as COVID-19 Medicare loans come due.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- We Aren’t Nationally Mourning The 200,000 COVID-19 Victims Because If We Did It Would Be A Reckoning
200,000 Americans have now died from the coronavirus. Yet there has been no official national mourning. No minute of silence, no plans for a memorial, no collective grieving.
- Nurse Helps Terminally Ill Father with Cancer Fly to See His Son Play Football for a Final Time
A father who is terminally ill with cancer shared an emotional moment with his son after watching him play high school football for the final time thanks to a determined hospice nurse.
- Air Force to Honor the Tuskegee Airmen with New Uniforms Against Navy
The Air Force Academy football team will temporarily hang up their Air Force blue to honor the "Red Tails" of the famed Tuskegee Airmen against the Naval Academy on October 3.
- Nursing mothers must have refrigerator access under new Air Force rules
(Air Force Times)
The Air Force has expanded the support nursing mothers must receive when lactating at work after having a new baby.
- Fort Bliss Widens Search for Missing Soldier as Case Details Change
Army officials at Fort Bliss are asking the El Paso community for assistance in an expanded search for a soldier who has been missing since late July.
- Military working dog retires to Fort Couch after pristine career
(Task & Purpose)
Sergeant 1st Class Vito, an 11-year-old Belgian Malinois who served nine years as a Patrol Explosive Detector Dog, retired on September 17 after hurting his back during his deployment to Iraq.
- After Nine-Week Decline, VA Sees Spike in COVID Cases
The Department of Veterans Affairs saw a 7% spike in new coronavirus diagnoses across its health system, according to data released Monday.
- VA blasts Hawaii home where 18 veterans died of COVID-19
(Task & Purpose)
A team from the VA issued a detailed and sometimes scathing assessment of conditions and procedures at a Hawaii Veterans Home where at least 18 residents have died of COVID-19.
Military Family News
- DoD school officials identify first DoDEA employee to die from COVID-19
Defense school officials have identified the Fort Knox Middle/High School counselor who died from COVID on September 15 as Pamela Harris.
- Improving military spouse economic opportunity with better navigation
Especially now, in the wake of COVID-19, military spouses, like so many American business owners, are looking for the resources and training to shore up and build their business plans.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.