TAPS to Welcome Families of America’s Fallen Military Heroes for Memorial Day Weekend Events in Washington

24th National Military Survivor Seminar to Include More Than 2,000 Spouses, Parents, Children, Siblings and Battle Buddies for Five Days of Commemoration, Connection


ARLINGTON, Va. –- The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) will welcome more than 2,000 participants to our nation’s capital over Memorial Day Weekend as part of its 24th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp.

Kicking off on Thursday, May 24, the event will last five days, culminating with the official ceremonies on Memorial Day, May 28, at Arlington National Cemetery. The program, which offers a Good Grief Camp for children and informative workshops for adults focused on coping with traumatic grief, provides many opportunities for surviving family members to remember the life and legacy of their fallen loved ones who served in the military.

"The TAPS family celebrates the lives and legacies of our fallen heroes every day, but on Memorial Day we join with all Americans to honor their lives of selfless service and sacrifice," said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder and 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. "Over Memorial Day Weekend, many families of the fallen gather together here in Washington to connect with and support each other, and we are joined by the tens of thousands of additional families across the country who are commemorating the lives of their loved ones in their local communities.

“At TAPS we pay particular attention to the child’s grief journey,” continued Carroll. At the TAPS Good Grief Camp, almost 500 children who have lost a loved one as a result of their military service will learn coping strategies and meet other children grieving a loss like themselves. During the camp, the surviving children are paired one-on-one with volunteer military mentors trained by TAPS.

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 75,000 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).


Members of the media are invited to participate in a variety of daily activities, including interviews with TAPS President and Founder Bonnie Carroll, experts on grief and loss, volunteers and surviving military family members attending the seminar. In addition, many activities are open to media wanting to photograph or record b-roll, including:

Friday, May, 25

  • Good Grief Camp Opening Ceremony (9:30-10:30 a.m.)
  • National Military Survivor Seminar Opening Ceremony for adults (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)
  • NBA Basketball Clinic at the Good Grief Camp, featuring three players, TBA (2:30-4:30 p.m.)

Saturday, May 26

  • Good Grief Camp Offsite Activities: 23 buses will transport kids to the National Mall, including special outings for children to the National Zoo, American History Museum and Martin Luther King Memorial (8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.)
  • Field Day U.S.A., a night of interactive games for Good Grief Camp children and their mentors (5:30-9:30 p.m.)
  • TAPS Grand Banquet, featuring Gen. Paul Selva, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and celebrity chef Robert Irvine (6:30-9 p.m.)

Sunday, May 27

  • Good Grief Camp picnic with military escorts (11 a.m.)
  • TAPS Family BBQ featuring the military mentor march and the graduation of high school seniors from Good Grief Camp (5-8 p.m.)

Monday, May 28

  • Memorial Day Observances at Arlington National Cemetery (7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Note: media credentialing is handled by the Military District of Washington with details forthcoming. Typically, requests must be submitted directly to MDW. Media credentialing begins at 7:30 a.m. sharp.)
  • National Memorial Day Parade: (2-4:30 p.m.)

Note: An updated media advisory will descriptions of all events will be distributed early next week and daily alerts will be distributed during the event.

Please contact Rita Barry-Corke, TAPS Vice President of Media Relations at rita@taps.org or Christine Fuentes at christine.fuentes@taps.org, or at 1 (800) 959-TAPS (8277).

The 24th TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar & Good Grief Camp is made possible with the generous support of partners including Grunt Style; Lockheed Martin Corporation, New York Life Foundation; A&E Networks; Booz Allen Hamilton; American Greetings, Inc.; Veterans United Foundation; Ashton Tiffany; GEICO; Northrop Grumman Corp.; Optum Serves; Hasbro; United Concordia Dental; Humana; Mission BBQ and Fisher House Foundation.

Twitter: @TAPSorg
Hashtag: #GratefulNation
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