The TAPS Daily - September 25, 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.
- New bill would expand VA care for burn pit and toxic exposure
(Task & Purpose)
The U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs on Wednesday morning unanimously passed legislation to reform how the Department of Veterans Affairs provides care to service members who face toxic exposure. Coleen Bowman from TAPS spoke at the press conference.
- What it means to become a Gold Star family
Sunday is Gold Star Mothers and Family Day. Learn what that means to the surviving families.
- Ginsburg becomes the first woman to lie in state in the Capitol
The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the first woman to lie in state in the Capitol on Friday, underscoring her impact as a trailblazer for women.
- Hope Rising for Suicide Prevention Summit - September 26 - 27
(All in the Loop)
Hope Rising is a global suicide prevention virtual summit for those impacted by suicide and those who passionate about preventing it. TAPS Kim Ruocco will present. Register to take part.
- Unemployment, Loneliness Plague Injured Veterans During COVID-19 Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic is hitting wounded veterans especially hard, with many reporting deterioration of their mental and physical health, as well as their financial well-being.
- The U.S. just topped more than 7 million coronavirus cases as 23 states report rising numbers
The U.S. reached another grim milestone on Friday, surpassing 7 million cases of COVID-19.
- Appeals court revives House lawsuit against Trump border wall
A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., revived a lawsuit by House Democrats challenging the Trump administration’s authority to use military funds for a border wall on Friday.
- Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Tests Positive For Coronavirus
The Virginia governor urged citizens to be mindful of not transmitting the coronavirus disease.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month News
- Demand for Suicide Prevention Increases
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), and Education Development Center (EDC), are making the case for suicide prevention as a national priority, especially in light of the turmoil, disruption, and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. TAPS is a member of the Action Alliance.
- Veterans Crisis Line: Suicide Prevention Hotline, Text & Chat
(Veterans Crisis Line)
If the pandemic is affecting your mental health, reach out for help. Call 1-800-273-8255.
- Hayden Hurst, Dak Prescott working together for suicide prevention
Hayden Hurst is an advocate for understanding mental health struggles and has battled his own thoughts of suicide. The Falcons are a supporter of TAPS through the teams4taps program.
- Mental Health Conversations - Personal experiences on suicide
(New Era Live)
When we are conscious and have self-awareness and awareness of others we are likely to be considerate towards each other’s feelings. And the outcome could be different.
- 5 Action Steps for Helping Someone in Emotional Pain
(National Institute of Mental Health)
Learn what to do if you think someone might be at risk for self-harm.
- I'm Listening: Asking for help is not a weakness
(WCBS News Radio)
The Chief Medical Officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention adddress mental health, parenting, and the stress of the pandemic.
- We are committed to reducing the number of suicides
To combat the rising rates of suicide and our alarming mental health crisis, CVS Health is offering a range of specially tailored resources and support.
- Engaging People with Lived Experience: A Toolkit for Organizations
(Suicide Prevention Resource Center)
Do you work for an organization leading a suicide prevention effort? This toolkit can help.
- Blinded in one eye, runner and Navy veteran perseveres
By not giving up, a Navy Veteran, who overcame a suicide attempt, hopes service members and veterans who hear his story look at what he’s overcome and find inspiration.
- Watchdog Faults VA Suicide Tracking
The GAO has determined that the Department of Veterans Affairs should do a more thorough job of determining the cause of veterans’ suicides on VA campuses.
TAPS In the News
- Nature - The Soul's Healing Balm
On the eve of National Public Lands Day and National Hunting & Fishing Day, TAPS Outdoors invites you to celebrate the power of connection through nature with our new series "A Breath of Fresh Air".
- How I Learned to Stop Asking "Why?" and Use My Tragedy As a Force For Good
In our #SurvivorSunday Series for Suicide Prevention Month, TAPS Surviving Dad, Don Lipstein, shares how since losing his son to suicide, he has learned that life is too short to allow his days to go by without feeling a sense of gratitude for all the lessons he’s learned on his grief journey.
- 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
- We fought for democracy. It’s time we demand our votes be counted.
(We Are The Mighty)
A cross-partisan organization is committed to ensuring that every service member's ballot is counted before a winner is declared. TAPS is a member of The Military Vote Coalition, a group of military family and veteran support organizations, united by the goal to increase voter participation and accessibility among our community.
- A Temp Worker Incorrectly Threw A Few Military Ballots Into The Trash In Pennsylvania
Federal authorities are investigating issues with a small number of military mail-in ballots that were "improperly opened" and "discarded" in one Pennsylvania county.
- Veterans will see same cost-of-living boost in 2021 as Social Security beneficiaries
Veterans receiving government benefits will see a cost-of-living boost in 2021, if Social Security officials approve one for their recipients later this year.
- Wanting a tax deferral opt-out a 'reasonable issue,' says Trump official
Calls from feds, service members and members of Congress to allow public servants to opt-out of the administration's plan to defer payroll taxes until 2021 may have started to make inroads.
- Democrats push to limit transfer of military-grade gear to police
Dozens of congressional Democrats are urging committee chairs to limit types of military-grade equipment sent to local police departments amid ongoing protests over racial injustice.
- Most popular GI Bill schools
Public colleges and universities were among the largest recipients last year of the roughly $5 billion the Department of Veterans Affairs doled out in annual education benefits.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- Losing A Superhero: Holding A Child's Grief When You Can Barely Hold Your Own
It’s too easy for adults to be so consumed by our own griefs that we lose sight of the impact on our children. Particularly in an unprecedented year filled with unimaginable losses.
- Fear Can Be A Grief Response, Experts Say, When Someone Significant Dies
"Fear is often a response to death or loss that many people do not anticipate experiencing.”
- Pandemic forcing people to find new ways of expressing grief
More people have adapted to using remote technology to express their grief during COVID-19.
- Why The Pandemic Could Change The Way We Record Deaths
The pandemic is revealing why good numbers help us understand risk factors that cause death.
- How a military medical team used a dive chamber to save hurricane victims
The Brooke Army Medical Center hyperbaric team treated intubated civilian patients with severe carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of the devastation from Hurricane Laura.
- Female Marine Drill Instructors Are Headed to All-Male San Diego Boot Camp
The Marine Corps' historically all-male recruit depot will soon have female drill instructors.
- Top Marine says racism in the Corps has to be cut out ‘like a cancer, quickly’
(Task & Purpose)
Marines need to eradicate racism and extremism within the Corps, Marine Commandant says.
- New Air Force video hones in on need for inclusion and diversity
(We Are The Mighty)
We are a country divided. As Americans, we seem to have forgotten that we should all play on the same team. Fortunately, we have the United States Air Force to remind us of that.
- This Mexican-American soldier killed in action was denied a funeral in Texas
Private Felix Longoria was killed in action in the Philippines during World War II. Back in Texas, his hometown church refused to host his funeral because he was Mexican.
- 2 former leaders charged for handling of virus outbreak at veterans home
Two former administrators of a Massachusetts veterans home where nearly 80 people sickened by the coronavirus died have been charged for their handling of the outbreak.
- 4 Military Veterans Just Released the Most Tactical Campaign Ad of All Time
An ad for veterans running for Congress may be the most hyped-up joint campaign ads ever released.
Military Family News
- My Brother Austin Asked Me to Go to Syria with Him. Four Months Later, He Was Taken
The brother of Austin Tice is urging people to help bring the Marine veteran and journalist home.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.