The TAPS Daily - September 28, 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.
- Military suicides have increased 20 percent this year compared to 2019: report
The rise comes as the U.S. struggles to balance the COVID-19 pandemic, civil rights movements and unrest, and raging wildfires simultaneously.
- Christmas shopping is poised to show inequity in a K-shaped recovery
(Stars & Stripes)
The pandemic recession is exacerbating inequalities between rich and poor with some Americans saving more money than ever while others struggle with job loss, evictions, and food insecurity.
- Alarming COVID-19 Data Shows Third Wave Brewing for U.S.
There are clear signs of a third resurgence of coronavirus this winter in the U.S.
- VA coronavirus cases top 60,000 since start of the pandemic
The VA over the weekend surpassed 60,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.
- 'It's a lot to juggle': Many college students with children are overwhelmed this school year
(Stars & Stripes)
The pandemic has laid bare the precarious nature of pursuing a degree while raising a family.
- Most U.S. Households Struck By COVID-19 Suffer Financially, Too
Households with COVID-19 or special needs person are more likely to be hurting financially.
- Washington Monument to reopen to public October 1
The Washington Monument will reopen on October 1 after a six-month closure due to COVID-19.
- Amazon Prime Day 2020: Mark your calendar and get ready to shop on October 13 and 14
(Good Morning America)
Don’t forget to choose TAPS as your Amazon Smile charity for Prime Day shopping!
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month News
- Military suicides up as much as 20% in COVID era
While causes of suicide are complex, officials believe pandemic is adding stress to strained force.
- How to talk to children about suicide
TAPS is here to help with tips on finding the right words to talk about suicide with kids.
- As Suicides Rise, Army Brass Reassessing Outreach
Suicide is particularly taking it’s toll in the Army, where senior leaders are now looking at ways to shorten deployments and put more focus on soldier well-being.
- Suicide Exposure in Military Populations and Resources for Support
(Psychological Health Center of Excellence)
When a suicide happens in military settings, many types of people can be affected.
- Suicide Prevention Webinar: Helping Others Hold On
Wrap up September's suicide prevention month on Tuesday, September 29 at 12pm ET with PsychArmor Institute and Stack Up as we discuss how you can "Help Others Hold On.”
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
- VA finishes digitizing deck logs for blue water Vietnam veterans, should speed disability claims
Officials announced completion of digitizing thousands of ship deck logs from the Vietnam War that will help better determine where troops served and what toxins they may have encountered.
- Court allows House Democrats to challenge Trump’s use of military funding to build border wall
(Task & Purpose)
A federal appeals court said the House of Representativescould proceed with a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's diversion of funds to pay for a border wall.
- Hawaii to take over veterans home where 26 died
A state-owned health care organization in Hawaii will take over a veterans care home where 26 residents have died of the coronavirus.
- No maximum wait time set by VA for veterans' community care
More than a year after the VA Mission Act expanded opportunities for veterans to receive care in their communities, the department still has not set acceptable maximum wait times for that care.
- New Jersey Governor Signs Law Exempting Combat Pay from State Income Tax
New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday signed bipartisan legislation exempting combat pay earned by members of the military from the state income tax.
- Federal firefighters would get more shift flexibility under new bill
Federal firefighters would have the same rights as local employees to trade shifts with each other.
- Congress passes bill honoring airmen killed in 1962 crash
The B-47 Ridge Designation Act honoring airmen killed in a 1962 crash passed unanimously.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- Mika: A mental health crisis is upon us, and we cannot ignore it
Americans are suffering mentally and emotionally because of this awful global pandemic.
- This is what happens to your body over months in isolation
We’ve been told staying home is the best way to avoid catching COVID-19. And it is. But life in confinement can cause physical ailments on its own.
- Report: Vet counseling fixes needed to fight counselor burnout
A report confirms the productivity expectations at many of the 300 Vet Centers offering counseling to combat veterans, are leading to burnout among counselors.
- America's racial reckoning is putting a spotlight on Black mental health
The pandemic, economic anxiety, and reignited fights on racist structures have created a “mental health tsunami” in the Black community.
- COVID-19 quarantine sparks concern of eating disorder crisis
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the NEDA reported a spike of more than 70% in the number of calls and online chat inquiries to its hotline compared to last year.
- Amid grief and uncertainty, Yom Kippur offers the gift of acceptance
How I made peace with the holiday’s harsh decree of ‘who shall live and who’ — like my daughter — ‘shall die.’
- Afghan War Sees its Longest Span Without a U.S. Combat Death
Sunday marked the longest span between U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan.
- Trump, Pentagon collide over anti-diversity training push
President Trump's efforts to appeal to his conservative base by banning certain diversity training is butting up against the Pentagon’s efforts to build a more inclusive military.
- New Fort Hood Commander Orders Training Pause to Rebuild Soldiers' Trust
New Fort Hood commander launched effort to begin rebuilding unit cohesion.
- Army Offers Up to $25,000 for Information on Missing Fort Bliss Soldier
The Army announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to location of missing soldier.
- Nebraska Guard innovates firefighter training after COVID restrictions
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused numerous unforeseen impacts in Nebraska.
- 'Ain't gonna happen!' Politicians vow to keep Parris Island open
(Task & Purpose)
The mere possibility of the USMC closing Parris Island has drawn swift backlash.
- Soldier's military career is about to be crushed — a second time — for the same 'offense'
An Army review board has shot down a soldier’s last-ditch effort to appeal the military's decision to kick him out of the Army, just two years shy of retirement.
- Black, Hispanic veterans twice as likely as white vets to test positive for COVID-19
VA researchers determined Black and Hispanic veterans are twice as likely to test positive for the coronavirus as white veterans.
- RBG's Trainer, Army Vet Bryant Johnson, Does Push-Ups in Front of Her Casket
An Army veteran who became Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal trainer, paid a special tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice while her body lay in state in the U.S. Capitol
- VA breaks ground on first American Indian Veterans Memorial at national veterans cemetery
The VA broke ground on the first American Indian Veterans Memorial at the national veterans cemetery.
- Forgotten Heroes: Cremated Remains Of 29 Veterans Interred At Santa Fe National Cemetery
(LA Daily Post)
The cremains of 29 veterans unclaimed by family members were laid to rest with military honors.
Military Family News
- Emily’s Way: Gold Star Mother shares daughter’s inspiring story
Emily’s compelling story and military memorabilia is now on display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture where her legacy inspires millions of visitors annually.
- Honoring our Gold Star Mothers: Today and always
(We Are The Mighty)
Gold Star Mother's Day recognizes mothers whose children served and died in the line of duty.
- Elizabeth Dole Foundation, VA expand caregiver program
The Dole Foundation and the VA announced emergency funding expansion of Respite Relief for Military and Veteran Caregiver for short-term respite care for those struggling under COVID-19.
- Lawsuit Claims Military Families Endured Mold, Roaches in Camp Lejeune Housing
A lawsuit claims Camp Lejeune families lived in unacceptable, unsanitary conditions.
- Here’s President Trump’s Proclamation Honoring Gold Star Mothers and Families
A new proclamation from President Donald Trump marked Sunday, September 27, as Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day -- and asks all Americans to pause to do the same.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.