Surviving Military Parents, Siblings Find Strength, Connection at TAPS Retreat in Alaska


ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) will host surviving parents and siblings of America's fallen military at a retreat in Anchorage, Alaska, Aug. 19-21. The retreat brings together surviving parents and siblings to connect with other surviving families to honor the lives and legacies of their loved ones.

"Bringing surviving military parents and siblings together lets them know they are not alone in their loss and they don't have to grieve alone," said Jaime Boris, TAPS Retreats Deputy Manager. "This TAPS weekend is a special opportunity for the family members to connect with those who have faced similar losses to their own as they step out of their comfort zones and find strength within themselves."

The surviving family members will take part in a group hike at Alyeska, visit a black bear feeding at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and participate in the Anchorage RunFest. Survivors will find strength through nature, with a special visit to the Battle Dawgs facility and on a riverboat tour, both in Talkeetna.

Group hike, Friday, Aug. 19, from noon to 2 p.m., near Alyeska Resort, 1000
Arlberg Ave., Girdwood (Follow a group as the surviving parents and siblings
find strength from their loved ones and within themselves.)
Black bear experience, Friday, Aug. 19, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., at the Alaska
Wildlife Conservation Center, Mile 79 Seward Hwy., Portage (Get photos and
footage of surviving family members stepping out of their comfort zones among the black bears.)
 Anchorage RunFest expo, Friday, Aug. 19, at 6 p.m., at the Dena'ina Civic and  Convention Center, 600 W. 7th Ave., Anchorage (Interview surviving families and hear their heroes' stories as they pick up race packets.)
Battle Dawgs visit, Saturday, Aug. 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Battle Dawgs facilities, 36901 S. Sawyer's Shady St., Talkeetna (Interview surviving parents and siblings as they meet the dogs, walk trails, go fishing and connect with team members from the Iditarod team.)
Riverboat tour, Saturday, Aug. 20, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Mahay's Jetboat Safari, 22333 Talkeetna Spur Road, Talkeetna (Get photos and video of surviving families connecting and reflecting on the lives of their heroes.)
Anchorage RunFest, Sunday, Aug. 21, starting at 9 a.m., at 6th and F Streets (Get a group photo at the start line with runners in their Team TAPS gear, wearing photos of their loved ones.)

Bonnie Carroll
, TAPS President and Founder
Jaime Boris, TAPS Retreats Deputy Manager
Surviving military parents and siblings

To attend any part of the retreat, contact Kelly Griffith at or 202.588.TAPS (8277). Please make mention if requesting interviews at times other than the suggested activities.

While many surviving families are open to sharing their heroes' stories, TAPS asks that the media be mindful that some may need time to collect their thoughts. You can find tips on covering families and trauma at

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America's fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 60,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, healing seminars and retreats for adults, camps for children, casework assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and the 24/7 National Military Survivor Helpline at 800.959.TAPS (8277) available for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to or call TAPS at 202.588.TAPS (8277). TAPS Retreats are made possible through a grant from HSBC.