TAPS Families Connect at Retreat in Big Sky Country

Men who have lost a loved one in the military gather to honor their fallen heroes,
 find hope and support


ARLINGTON, Va. – The Tragedy Assistance Program Survivors (TAPS) will host the surviving fathers, brothers, adult children and battle buddies of America’s fallen military heroes at a retreat in West Yellowstone, Mont., Sept. 13-17. The five-day event will be filled with healing activities and will offer attendees the opportunity to honor their loved one, connect with peers and provide them with tools to cope with their grief.

“The TAPS Men’s Retreat in Montana 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. “Men grieve differently, and it is an incredibly complex and difficult journey. We’re grateful for our partnership with Trout Unlimited to help us offer this unique event where dads can connect with other dads and brothers can connect with other brothers so no one has to walk the road alone.”

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 www.taps.org or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).



OPPORTUNITIES:    Thursday and Friday, Sept. 14 and 15 from 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and
                              Saturday, Sept 16 from 9:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
at Parade Rest Ranch, 1279
                              Grayling Rd., West Yellowstone, Mont. -- Interview surviving fathers, brothers,
                              adult children and battle buddies as they make new memories, remember their
                              loved ones and connect with each other during horseback riding, fly fishing and
                              exploration of Yellowstone National Park.


FOR INTERVIEW: Gabriel Rao, TAPS Manager of Development and Donor Relations, and surviving
                           brother of Army Sgt. Elijah John Miles Rao, who died Dec. 5, 2009 in Afghanistan.
                           Dave Kumlien, National Coordinator, Trout Unlimited Veterans Service Partnership.
                           Charles Fairborne, Lead Wrangler, Parade Rest Ranch and Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran.
                           Wayne Telford, retreat participant and surviving father of Air Force Tech. Sgt.  
                           Brooke Caffrey.
                           Richard and Eddie Cliff, retreat participants and surviving father and brother of
                           Army Capt. Richard Cliff.

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