Surviving Wives, Fiancées, Mothers, Sisters and Daughters to Gather at TAPS Washington Women’s Empowerment Retreat

 IslandWood to Host Transformative Program Aug. 13-18 in Bainbridge Island, Wash.


ARLINGTON, Va. – The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) will welcome women grieving the loss of a loved one in the military to its Washington Women’s Empowerment Retreat Aug. 13-18 at IslandWood on Bainbridge Island, Wash.

Through supportive programs and nature-based activities, women will find hope and healing through connections with others experiencing a similar loss and learn coping strategies to deal with the difficult aftermath of their traumatic grief.  

“TAPS Women’s Empowerment Retreats bring together the widows, mothers, sisters and daughters of those who are grieving the death of their fallen hero,” said TAPS President and Founder Bonnie Carroll. “Together these women will come together at IslandWood to share a week of extraordinary healing as they learn techniques for resiliency and memorialize their loved ones.  This retreat gently allows these survivors to explore their future in a purposeful way, and whether the goal is to go back to school, achieve financial stability or open one’s heart again, participants will learn how to take concrete steps to achieve those goals.”

"We are honored to welcome TAPS and the family members of fallen service members to IslandWood," said Jennifer Antos, the Director of Strategic Development. "We have seen the important role the outdoors can play in the healing process by allowing families to come together in a safe, restorative natural setting.

WHAT: Opportunities for interviews during workshops, meals with surviving families and activities in nature.

WHERE: IslandWood, 4450 Blakely Ave. NE, Bainbridge Island, Wash.

WHEN: Aug. 13-18, 2017

AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW:  Ashley Rao, Project Manager, TAPS Empowerment Retreats
                                                               Tabitha Bonilla, Retreats Coordinator
                                                               Surviving military family members

To attend any part of the retreat, or to schedule an interview with TAPS staff or surviving family members, contact Christine Fuentes at or 202.588.TAPS (8277). For interviews with IslandWood staff, please email Kristine Jimenez at or call 206.755.6541.

While many surviving families are open to sharing their loved ones' 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 70,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline 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 the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).

IslandWood is a nationally recognized outdoor learning center that connects thousands of children and adults every year to the natural world in communities throughout the Puget Sound region.  IslandWood's mission is to provide exceptional learning experiences and to inspire lifelong environmental and community stewardship. In addition to school programs for elementary school students, IslandWood offers graduate programming in partnership with the University of Washington and Antioch University Seattle, conference programs for nonprofits and corporations, and nature-based experiences for military veterans and their families.  Learn more at