Families of America’s Fallen Military Heroes Gather in New Jersey for a Weekend of Hope and Healing

TAPS Seminar Brings Bereaved Adults and Children Together to Form Connections, Learn Coping Strategies and Honor Their Loved Ones

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - October 30, 2018

ARLINGTON, Va. – Bereaved family members of fallen U.S. service members will come together at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) Regional Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp from November 2-4 in New Brunswick, N.J. Surviving family members at all stages of the grief journey will have the space and encouragement to process their grief and connect with others who have walked in their shoes.

The weekend-long seminar will offer support and comfort to bereaved adults in peer-to-peer sharing groups where they can connect with others who understand. Over family-style gatherings and during expert-led workshops and special events, surviving family members and loved ones will get to know each other in a relaxed, welcoming setting where they can share memories of their fallen heroes and find comfort, hope and healing in hearing each other’s stories.

Children and teens at the seminar will attend the Good Grief Camp to learn how to cope with their loss of a loved one who served in the Armed Forces. Experts in the fields of child development, mental health and education will help the children and young adults process their grief and embrace healing through games, crafts and other age-appropriate activities. Each child will be partnered with a specially trained TAPS Military Mentor who will provide companionship and support during the seminar and beyond.

“TAPS regional seminars bring together military families grieving a fallen hero and provide support, resources, and compassionate care,” said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. “Through these TAPS weekends of sharing held across the country, grieving military families find comfort and healing as they honor those who have served and died.”


On Saturday, Nov. 3 opening ceremonies will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. to welcome surviving families to the seminar. Interviews are available following the ceremony with TAPS President and Founder Bonnie Carroll, grief experts and surviving military families attending the event.


  • Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder
  • Amanda Klager of Queens, N.Y., surviving sister of Army Spc. Jared Adam Klager
  • Kelly Gaskill of Florence, N.J., surviving fiancée of Army veteran Sgt. Steven Westlake Cadmus
  • Karen Kelley of Philadelphia, surviving mother of Air Force A1C Caleb Justin Kelley
  • Laura Garber of Chery Hill, N.J., surviving spouse of Navy PO2 Richard “Ricky” Garber
  • Mike and Carol Vecchio of Brick, N.J., surviving parents of Navy AWOC Michael J. Vecchio


Please contact Rita Barry-Corke or Victoria Leoni at media@taps.org or (860) 304-1807 to arrange interviews with TAPS staff or participants or attend any part of the seminar.

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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).