The TAPS Daily - September 8, 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.
- Respect for troops, military sacrifice becomes an election friction point
The presidential campaigns aren’t just debating military policy now. They’re debating basic respect for the military.
- Army chief says military leaders only recommend combat as 'last resort' after Trump comments
The top general in the Army said military leaders only recommend sending troops to combat as a “last resort” after President Trump said they support war to bolster the defense industry.
- Senate to vote Thursday on GOP coronavirus bill
The timeline comes after the Senate Majority Leader indicated a vote could take place this week.
- Service Members, Civilians Bound By DOD Rules During Election Campaigns
Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper's latest ethics video lays out the importance of political activity rules that Defense Department civilian employees and service members must follow.
- Sturgis Motorcycle Rally linked to 20% of U.S. coronavirus cases in August: researchers
Nearly 20% of the 1.4 million new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. can be traced back to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally where 266,000 of 460,000 attendees contracted the virus.
- Flu vaccine vital as COVID-19 deaths rise and America tries to avoid dueling winter crises
The combination of COVID-19, influenza and a panoply of acute and chronic illnesses could paralyze our existing health care system this fall and winter.
- 9 Funny Photos That Prove How Crazy Back-to-School Season Is in 2020
While many of our back-to-school customs are being put on hold, the “First Day of School” picture is still a must for many and a way to highlight our new normal amid pandemic.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month News
- ‘Do your part’ — Joint Chiefs vice chair calls on leaders to end military suicide crisis
(Task & Purpose)
The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff emphasized the role leaders can play in reducing suicides in the ranks and removing stigmas around seeking treatment for mental health issues.
- Suicide Prevention Week raises alarms, LGBTQ youth suffer acutely
(Tampa Bay Times)
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S. for 15- to 24-year-olds.tal in Memphis, Tennessee, where the patient "did not receive the care needed," an investigation found.
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
- New legislation could force VA to pay medical bills of veterans exposed to burn pits
A TAPS Family member discusses the effects of toxic exposures on soldiers like her husband, one of more than 5,000 veterans whose cancers and deaths are linked to burn pit fumes.
- Troops, DoD Civilians Won't Be Able to Opt Out of Payroll Tax Deferral Plan
The Trump administration's controversial payroll tax deferral plan will be mandatory for military members and Defense Department civilians, officials announced over the weekend.
- As VA Secretary defends Trump, reports say POTUS considering him for Defense Secretary
A report citing administration officials claims Trump has considered Wilkie as a replacement for Secretary of Defense, and that the president has spoken to Wilkie about it.
- Congress opens its own investigation into Fort Hood chain of command
A congressional investigation into recent soldier deaths at Fort Hood was announced Monday.
- Navajo Nation calls for investigation into Fort Hood deaths
The Navajo Nation has joined calls for an accounting of the deaths at Fort Hood after one of its members became the latest soldier from the U.S. Army post to die this year.
- Veterans Affairs lacks accurate data, accountability on police use — or misuse — of force
VA data on police use of force is not complete or accurate enough to track trends.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- Celebrity Grief: The Impact of the Death of Chadwick Boseman
TAPS Family member, Dr. Jill Harrington, discusses the very real and complicated grief that comes with news of a celebrity ‘superhero’ death.
- As Morale Sinks at the Naval Academy, Some Midshipmen Worry About Mental Health
It has been an unusual year at the Naval Academy, with traditions obliterated by new regulations and restrictions aimed at slowing the coronavirus pandemic.
- Talking robots could be used to combat loneliness and boost mental health in care homes
Care home residents who interacted with a robot saw improvements in overall mental health.
- Pandemic's Stress Is Pushing A Rise In Eating Disorders
A survey found 62% of Americans with anorexia experienced worsening of symptoms after the pandemic hit. And nearly a third with binge-eating disorder reported an increase in episodes.
- Navy Ends 3-Day Search for Sailor Missing from Carrier Nimitz
The Navy ended search-and-rescue efforts Tuesday for a sailor believed to have gone overboard this weekend from an aircraft carrier deployed to the Middle East.
- California National Guard Helps Rescue Dozens of People Trapped By Wildfire
(Task & Purpose)
The California National Guard assisted in a major rescue operation, using a CH-47 Chinook helicopter to help airlift people trapped by a wildfire.
- U.S. commands support partner nations' COVID-19 relief efforts
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to kill and sicken people, the U.S. military has stepped up longstanding efforts to provide humanitarian aid around the globe.
- Officials seek help finding Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier missing since spring
Army officials at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington are still seeking information that could help them find a missing soldier who was last heard from at about 7:30 p.m. on April 29.
- Refugee Who Fled Afghanistan As A Child Graduates Marine Boot Camp
(Task & Purpose)
The Taliban drove his family out of Afghanistan. Now he wants to go back as a Marine.
- Four Marines Safe After Super Stallion Helicopter Catches Fire Mid-Flight
Four Marines were able to get out of a helicopter safely after a forced emergency landing.
- Vietnam War Vet Who Conducted Heroic Helicopter Rescue Dies at 74
Tom Baca joined the Army at age 17. He went on to become a highly decorated helicopter pilot.
- Iwo Jima Medal of Honor recipient recounts his experiences during battle
TAPS friend and the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient of the Battle of Iwo Jima, Hershel "Woody" Williams, made a visit to the Iwo Jima memorial in Arlington, Virginia. Williams’ foundation works to install monuments around the country honoring Gold Star Families.
Military Family News
- Supporting your child’s mental health as they return to school during COVID-19
As the school year starts up during a pandemic, many of us may be feeling stressed. Make sure to check in with your kids about how they’re feeling. Here are ways to start the conversation.
- Sikh family balances faith, military service
(Reserve and National Guard Magazine)
Among the core beliefs in Sikhism is service to humanity, a principle the Singh family hopes to be fulfilling through their military commitment across generations.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.