The TAPS Daily - September 9, 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.
- Here's how the payroll tax deferral impacts service members
With plans to put payroll taxes on ice for the rest of the year, military finance officials warn service members the tax breaks are temporary and will be collected starting in January.
- Defense authorization bill delayed until after election
A bipartisan compromise and vote on the defense policy bill isn’t likely before the election, but should come “quickly” after, the House Armed Services Committee’s top Republican said.
- Stimulus check money: You and your family could get more than $1,200 with a new payment
Here's how much you could expect if the IRS sends another round of stimulus checks in 2020.
- Lawmakers Intensify Medal of Honor Push for Black D-Day Hero Who Saved Dozens
Congress announced legislation to posthumously award the Medal of Honor to a Black Army medic who saved wounded troops on D-Day despite being severely wounded himself.
- This teacher built a library for kids in her garage
(Good Morning America)
This teacher built a library with her own collection of books in her garage when she realized her students didn't have close access to a public library.
- A farmer planted over 2 million sunflowers to provide a respite during this rough year
Everyone could use a little sunshine in their life right now, so a Wisconsin farmer decided that's what he was going to do, and planted more than 2 million sunflowers in his fields.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month News
- Love Lives On - Featuring Air Force Veteran and TAPS Founder, Bonnie Carroll
As awareness for suicide prevention increases, TAPS Bonnie Carroll discusses the complicated grief experienced by the surviving families of such losses.
- 'I sought help when I needed it': Joint Chiefs vice chairman speaks out on mental health
Air Force General John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shared a glimpse into his personal struggles with mental health in a video encouraging service members to seek help.
- Investigation finds multiple mistakes in VA's reporting of on-campus suicides
A new GAO report released this week found multiple mistakes with how the department tracks campus suicides.
- Second Lady Karen Pence Highlights Mental Health Program for Veterans in Georgia
Second Lady Karen Pence traveled to Georgia to raise awareness on suicide prevention programs for military service members and veterans as part of the PREVENTS initiative she helps lead and of which TAPS is a member.
- Veteran suicide prevention must not become partisan issue for Congress
Leaders in Congress and in the administration are on brink of finally advancing meaningful policy to combat veteran suicide. They must not allow politics to hinder this.
- Why you need to stop what you’re doing and do a buddy check
(We Are The Mighty)
While serving, we saw our teammates every day. We were able to witness signs they may be struggling. These checks are more difficult when out of the military, but still very much needed.
- Identifying Warning Signs of Suicide on Social Media
Learn how to recognize the warning signs of suicide on social media and what you can do to help. Recognizing the signs and taking the right steps can save lives.
- HRC Recognizes Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
HRC co-hosted a Twitter chat with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention discussing common questions around suicide prevention and how to help others.
- The Myths and Warning Signs of Suicide
As a society, we must help those who are suicidal to access the treatment that they need.
- Financial hardship is a top risk factor for suicide attempts
(Medical News Today)
According to a new study, people who have recently experienced severe financial strain may have a 20-fold higher risk of attempting suicide than those who have not encountered hardship.
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
- Top House Armed Services Republican 'dismayed' at Trump's attack on military leaders
The top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee said President Donald Trump was “wrong” to say Pentagon leaders want to go to war to satisfy the defense industry.
- Five things to watch in talks on massive defense bill
The House and Senate are expected to begin negotiations in earnest in the coming weeks on a massive defense policy bill President Trump has threatened to veto.
- Whistleblower alleges top DHS officials sought to alter intelligence to fit Trump's comments
Congress has received a whistleblower complaint alleging top DHS leaders have politicized intelligence by pushing to alter assessments to match administration’s public remarks.
- Airman’s Idea to Provide Better-Fitting Uniforms to Pregnant Troops May Become Law
The Rent the Camo pilot program, designed to mimic Rent the Runway, would issue maternity uniforms and related items for free and ensure that they are nontoxic for baby and mother.
Grief / Mental Health / Wellness
- Amid coronavirus pandemic, Americans in 'denial' over poor mental health: survey
A new survey revealed that nearly half of its respondents did not seek mental health treatment amid the coronavirus pandemic due to cost or lack of access and time.
- Mental Health in the U.S. is Suffering—Will It Go Back to Normal?
COVID-19 has left lots of people feeling anxious and depressed. But it’s hard to untangle whether this is a normal response to a difficult situation or actual pathology.
- 'Grief has been delayed.' Love and Loss in a Pandemic
The sense of glacially negotiating an unbearable trauma in a world turned upside down is captured in a new documentary, ‘Love and Loss in a Pandemic’.
- How to Help Grieving Loved Ones in a Pandemic
COVID-19 restrictions make grieving more difficult. Here are expert-backed tips for supporting people through the death of a loved one.
- What's in it for them? Wounded veterans and Gold Star families answer Trump's question
“Those better men and women are ordinary Americans who did an extraordinary thing: they answered the call. With everything to risk, they are the rare few who said, ‘send me.’”
- Proposal to Rename Bases Still Under Debate in the Army
Despite a lack of White House support, the U.S. Army's chief of staff said the service has not abandoned the idea of renaming several bases named after Confederate leaders.
- Woodward book: Trump called COVID-19 ‘deadly’ early on, boasted of secret weapons system
According to an account by Bob Woodward, President Trump told him in February the emerging coronavirus was "deadly" and also boasted of building a secret weapons system.
- Army Sees Spike in COVID-19 Cases as Training Reaches Full Strength
Coronavirus cases in the Army have spiked in recent months as training intensifies and more installations open up, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Tuesday.
- Trump planning to withdraw more U.S. troops from Iraq
The Trump administration will announce it is withdrawing additional troops from Iraq, as it tries to make good on a campaign promise to disentangle the U.S. from “endless wars.”
- National Guard Responds to Rescues and Wildfires in West
Rescue missions and support to civil authorities fighting wildfires were the focus of West Coast troop visits by the National Guard's highest-ranking general and his senior enlisted advisor.
- The Marine Corps will pay pilots up to $210,000 to stay in uniform
(Task & Purpose)
The Marine Corps will pay some of its pilots retention bonuses of nearly a quarter-million dollars in order to address "shortfalls" in the service's aviation community.
- Navy Changes Course, Says Catholic Services Will Continue on Southern California Bases
The Navy is reversing a plan to cut costs by suspending most contracts for priests.
- Sailors, Marines Can No Longer Use Hemp Products to Fight Frizz, Soften Skin, Navy Says
The Navy has banned Sailors and Marines from using shampoos, lotions, soaps made with hemp or cannabidiol, one of the main active compounds in cannabis plants.
- 3 killed in plane crash were Tennessee National Guard
Three people killed in a small plane crash near a Tennessee airport were National Guard members, an official said Wednesday.
- 'Beloved' Army paratrooper killed in motorcycle accident
(Task & Purpose)
A paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division died on September 4 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, as a result of a motorcycle accident.
- Sailor dies after colliding with a bus while on his skateboard
A San Diego-based sailor died last month after he collided with a bus while skateboarding in East Los Angeles, officials have confirmed.
- James Mattis reenlists Marine corporal into National Guard
(Task & Purpose)
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis raised his knife hand (not in anger) to reenlist a lucky Marine corporal last month into the Army National Guard in Mattis’ home state of Washington.
- Despite the risk, VA nurse answers the call
This VA nurse accepted a volunteer assignment working at a state veterans’ home where 31 of her 33 patients were positive for COVID-19. “The opportunity to help was worth it.”
- Help the Oldest Living WWII Vet Celebrate His 111th Birthday
Lawrence Brooks, the oldest living U.S. World War II veteran turns 111 years old on September 12.
Banner photo courtesy of the School of Advanced International Studies | John Hopkins University.