Parents of Fallen Military Service Members Come Together in Hawaii

Grieving Parents Find Healing Connecting With One Another at Five-Day TAPS Retreat

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 25, 2018

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) will host surviving parents of America’s fallen military heroes at a healing retreat on Oahu, Hawaii from September 27 to October 1. The five-day retreat provides an opportunity for bereaved parents from across the country to come together to honor their loved ones, connect with one another and find new tools to cope with their grief.

The Hawaii retreat allows mothers and fathers to step away from the stressors of daily life and into a supportive environment where they can focus on their healing and connect with other parents who understand their experience.  On the final day of the retreat, participants will attend a ceremony at Punchbowl National Cemetery in Honolulu honoring Gold Star families on National Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day.

“For all those grieving the loss of a loved one, there is no greater comfort than knowing you are not alone,” said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. “Although our TAPS mothers and fathers will forever feel the heartbreak of losing their child, they can find support and healing in knowing they are walking the grief journey alongside others who understand that pain.”


Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – interviews available with TAPS staff and surviving parents during a kayaking activity on Kailua Beach

Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – media welcome to join TAPS staff and retreat participants during visit to Punchbowl National Cemetery for ceremony honoring Gold Star families


  • Tara Reyna, TAPS Retreats Manager and surviving fiancé of Army CW2 Earl R. Scott III
  • Lis and James Olsen, surviving parents of Army Cpl. Toby R. Olsen


Please contact Rita Barry-Corke at or (860) 304-1807 or Victoria Leoni at (571) 385-2570 to arrange interviews with TAPS staff or participants or attend any part of the retreat.

# # #


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