Families of America’s Fallen Military Heroes Heal Together at TAPS Camp in Texas

Four-Day Campout Helps Families Heal and Process Grief


ARLINGTON, Va. – The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) will host family members of fallen American military heroes at a family campout in Bandera, Texas from August 31 to September 3. The four-day campout will help children and adults who have lost a loved one in the Armed Forces grieve individually and as families.

The TAPS campout will be held at the Silver Spur Guest Ranch where participants will engage in outdoor activities while learning coping techniques, communication skills and ways to strengthen the family unit. Military mentors from San Antonio-area bases will attend the campout to help participating children honor their fallen heroes and remain connected to the military community.

“The TAPS Family Campout in Texas emphasizes the vital role the family unit plays in the grief journey,” said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS president and founder and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. “Especially in times of grief, it is important for families to strengthen their connections to one another to provide a strong foundation for healing.”


Saturday, Sept. 1 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. AND Sunday, Sept. 2 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Interviews available with TAPS peer professional staff members and participating surviving loved ones during family activity time.


  • Karissa Kelley, TAPS Youth Programs Manager and surviving sister of Air Force A1C Caleb Kelley
  • Kimberly Taylor, TAPS Youth Programs Project Manager and surviving fiancé of Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Rath
  • Karl Hillway, TAPS Youth Programs Logistics Manager
  • Cheryl and Jonathan Lankford of San Antonio, surviving wife and son of Army Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Lankford
  • Megan and Brooke Clevenger of Cohoes, N.Y., surviving wife and daughter of Navy veteran MM2 Timothy Clevenger


Please email Christine Fuentes at media@taps.org or call her at (540) 219-5636 to arrange interviews with TAPS staff or participants or attend any part of the campout.

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The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the leading national organization providing compassionate care and survivor support services for the families of America’s fallen military heroes. Since 1994, TAPS has offered support to more than 80,000 survivors of fallen military in the form of 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).