Finding Hope, Healing at TAPS Parents Retreat in Albuquerque

Families who have lost a son or daughter in the military gather to connect and honor their loved ones


ARLINGTON, Va. – The Tragedy Assistance Program Survivors (TAPS) will host parents of America’s fallen military heroes at a retreat in Albuquerque Nov. 1-5. The four-day event will be filled with healing activities and will offer attendees the opportunity to honor their loved one, as well as provide them with tools to cope with their grief.

“The TAPS Parents’ Retreat in Albuquerque will allow grieving family members to come together and participate in activities that encourage connection and help them find comfort and support,” said TAPS Founder and President Bonnie Carroll. “Grief is an extraordinarily complex and difficult journey, but no one has to walk the road alone.”

During their time in Albuquerque, retreat participants will take part in light hiking and other outdoor activities, opening and closing ceremonies, and other event that will allow them to remember their loved ones and connect with others who have experienced a similar loss, creating lifelong bonds.

OPPORTUNITIES:    On Thursday, Nov. 2 from 2:45-6 p.m., media may interview, photograph and capture video of surviving parents before or after they participate in hot air balloon rides at Rainbow Ryders Inc., 5601 Eagle Rock Ave. NE, Albuquerque, N.M. Alternatively, media availabilities may be scheduled during a pottery class on Friday or during a visit to the Pueblo Cultural Center on Saturday.

FOR INTERVIEW: Lis Olsen, TAPS Retreat Staff, and surviving mother of Army Cpl. Toby Olsen, who died in 2007 in Iraq. Media are also invited to speak with surviving parents participating in the retreat, including Paul Lyons, who lost his son in Iraq, and Brian & Julie Martin, who lost their son in Afghanistan.

Please email Christine Fuentes at or call 540-905-8448 to attend any part of the retreat or arrange interviews with TAPS staff or survivors.

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).