The TAPS Daily - September 29, 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.
- More Than 1 Million People Have Died From COVID-19 Worldwide
The world just hit 1 Million coronavirus cases. Here’s how five nations are driving the pandemic.
- Service Member COVID-19 Deaths Surpass Dependents
The number of troops killed by COVID-19 has surpassed that of dependents killed by the virus.
- Pelosi cites 'positive' talk with White House on coronavirus aid, but clock is ticking
The Speaker of the House said recent talks with the White House over emergency coronavirus relief have been "positive" and she remains hopeful the sides can strike a deal.
- Ginsburg buried in Arlington National Cemetery
The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery alongside her husband, Martin, in a ceremony on Tuesday.
- Deaths, violence cast shadows over Fort Hood
(Task & Purpose)
Like many military mothers, Patricia Troyan always feared her son could die on the battlefield. She never imagined her bright, courageous child would die by his own hands at Fort Hood.
- U.S. judge orders stop to Postal Service cuts, echoing others
(Stars & Stripes)
A federal judge in Philadelphia joined others in ordering the U.S. Postal Service to halt recent cuts critics say are causing mail delays and threatening the integrity of the presidential election.
- Thank You, Volunteers! | Baltimore Orioles
For Fan Appreciation Week, the Orioles are recognizing volunteers helping others in need. Among those recognized are TAPS Good Grief Camp Mentor, Master Sergeant Shawn Hagen. The Orioles are a partner of TAPS through teams4taps and recognized TAPS President and Founder, Bonnie Carroll, as a Birdland Community Hero in 2018.
- Sheikh Sabah, ruler of U.S. ally Kuwait, dies at age 91
Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the ruler of Kuwait who pushed for closer ties to Iraq after the 1990 Gulf War and solutions to other regional crises, died Tuesday. He was 91.
- There's a new weapon against COVID-19. And it's dogs
One airport has hired a team of dogs, trained to sniff out COVID-19, to screen passengers.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month News
- As military suicides rise, Army brass reassessing outreach
Service members are struggling with impacts of COVID-19, added to the pressures of deploying to war zones and responding to national disasters and civil unrest.
- General's Proposal to Curb Suicide: Require Every Soldier to Visit Behavioral Health
Following reports of a significant uptick in military suicides, the general in charge of Army TRADOC suggested all soldiers be required to see a behavioral health professional once a year.
- Resources | REACH to Prevent Suicide
Use the helpful resources on this page to learn more about how you can REACH out to help save a life. TAPS is a part of the PREVENTS Task Force which initiated the REACH pledge drive.
- Why do veterans take their own lives? New study finds surprising answers
Suicide among veterans continues to rise despite attempts to prevent it through resilience training, stress reduction, crisis centers, and a host of other interventions.
- A troubled sailor was 'underdiagnosed' by mental health officials before mass shooting
It only took a few seconds for a young sailor’s mental health crisis to unravel in a fatal exchange at Pearl Harbor. But the signs, and the Navy’s failure to help him, were months in the making.
- Applications Open! Join the You Matter Blogger Council!
You Matter has is a space for youth to share stories and make your voices heard. If you’re between 13-25 and passionate about suicide prevention and mental health, we want you to apply.
TAPS In the News
- National Coffee Day
On National Coffee Day, we give a huge TAPS Family thank you to Starbucks for providing survivors a comforting place to meet.
- TAPS Magazine Fall 2020
Check out the latest issue of TAPS Magazine with survivor stories and grief resources.
- 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
- David Shulkin: VA needs to secure relief for burn pit veterans
Former VA Secretary David Shulkin says not enough is being done to provide vital benefits to troops returning from war -- especially those made sick from prolonged exposure to burn pits.
- Tricare to Cover Some Experimental Drugs for COVID-19
In a deviation from its restrictions on paying for experimental medications, Tricare will partially cover investigational drugs used to treat COVID-19, the Defense Department announced.
- U.S. official: 2020 census to end October 5 despite court order
(Stars & Stripes)
The Secretary of Commerce says the 2020 census will end October 5, despite a federal judge's ruling allowing the head count of every U.S. resident to continue through the end of October.
- Air Force lowers tuition assistance caps to handle expected COVID surge
(Air Force Times)
The Air Force is cutting the maximum amount of money airmen can receive in tuition assistance in fiscal 2021, from $4,500 to $3,750.
- Tuition assistance funding in the Navy is going up — but the extra money will be delayed
The Navy is on track to increase tuition assistance funding by nearly $20 million in fiscal 2021 — after the program ran out of money in May 2019 and caps were imposed this fiscal year.
- VA senior official in Philadelphia faces bribery charges
A former senior Veterans Affairs official in Philadelphia has been indicted for soliciting bribes.
- DOJ: Tow company illegally sold troops' cars
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against a Dallas towing company for allegedly auctioning five service members' vehicles in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- This Is the Worst Thing You Could Say to Someone Who's Grieving
Using a stock phrase can indicate lack of thoughtfulness and feel isolating versus comforting.
- Video: Grief and Young Adults in Military-Connected Families
Discussion on common grief themes for young adults, especially military-connected young adults.
- Warning Signs and Risk Factors for Emotional Distress Related to Natural or Manmade Disasters
It is common to feel stress symptoms before or after a crisis. Learn about common warning signs and risk factors for emotional distress that children, adults, and first responders often experience.
- Cracked teeth from grinding: A sign of COVID-19 stress
Stress is causing more cracked teeth during the pandemic, but there are ways to improve your mental health and save your teeth from breaks and surgeries.
- 'This Is Too Much': Working Moms Are Reaching The Breaking Point During The Pandemic
Hardships facing working mothers are not new, but the pandemic has given them more visibility.
- When Your Partner Has Insomnia
Chronic insomnia can also cause fatigue, irritability, and depression that can cause problems in your relationship. The good news is that there is a highly effective therapy for insomnia.
- ‘Why is this happening?’ — Mysterious seizures haunt Marines a decade after their deployment
(Task & Purpose)
Though military neurologists expected a wave of seizures after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they couldn’t have known this generation’s injuries would differ from previous generations.
- 5th Army Reserve Member Dies From COVID-19
An Army Reserve soldier has become the eighth U.S. service member to die from COVID-19, according to information released by the Pentagon Monday.
- Problems plagued Bradley crews before mishap killed 3 soldiers
Witness interviews highlight several issues leading up to the fatal accident involving an Army Bradley tank during a training event in October 2019.
- 173rd Airborne to memorialize paratrooper who died in hiking accident
(Stars & Stripes)
A 173rd Airborne Brigade soldier who died after falling down a ravine while hiking a World War I military trail near Vicenza, Italy, will be remembered by his unit in a memorial ceremony.
- Here's where presidential candidates Trump and Biden stand on major veterans issues
Veterans could be key in the 2020 presidential election, and both candidates say they're making vets a priority in their platforms.
- A Military 1st: A Supercarrier Is Named After An African American Sailor
Henry Kissinger called the Navy’s supercarriers "100,000 tons of diplomacy," and for the first time in history, one bears the name of an African-American.
- A veteran's military medals were stolen from his home. Detectives on the case replaced them
Police officers who served in the Marine Corps help replace a fellow Marine veteran’s service medals which could not be recovered after a burglary.
- The Community with the Most U.S. Veterans Per Capita Is Finally Getting Its Own Memorial
More Native Americans per capita serve in our nation’s armed forces than any other demographic. Now a memorial will honor their sacrifice and service.
- Baseball's Best Defensive Third Baseman Also Served in the Army National Guard
The greatest third baseman of all time was also a Citizen Soldier.
- Colorado woman who volunteered for the Navy in World War II dies at 102
(Stars & Stripes)
Rosanna H. Gravely was one of the last of her kind — a female World War II veteran — and on Monday she was buried in her uniform at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.