Retired Marine Corps Captain Kevin Penn to be Named TAPS 2019 Military Mentor of the Year

Award Recognizes Outstanding Support of the Children of America’s Fallen Heroes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 13, 2019

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) will present its 2019 Military Mentor of the Year Award to retired Marine Corps Capt. Kevin Penn at its 25th Anniversary TAPS Honor Guard Gala, to be held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C on March 6, 2019. The award recognizes outstanding volunteer service on behalf of the surviving children of fallen members of the Armed Forces.

Penn is a native of San Francisco and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1996. During his 20 years of service, he served as a helicopter mechanic, a drill instructor and an intelligence officer. His service included several deployments, culminating in his retirement two years ago.

“As a TAPS military mentor and volunteer, Kevin has given selflessly to honor our nation’s fallen heroes by bringing comfort and support to their surviving families,” said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder and 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. “Kevin has mentored countless grieving children at the TAPS Good Grief Camps and has been a regular volunteer whenever the families of TAPS have needed him. For so many TAPS children, Kevin has been a role model who keeps them connected to the military community and reminds them that they are never alone.”

Penn first volunteered with TAPS in 2010 and has since served as a military mentor at the annual National Military Survivor Seminar as well as regional seminars and campouts across the country. He always looks forward to the next opportunity to connect new surviving military children with other children who have been around TAPS longer.

“My TAPS families mean the absolute world to me,” said Penn. “Building memories with these incredible kids is without question the single best thing I do with my time.”

Funds raised from the Gala will be used to provide critical support services to families who have suffered the loss of a loved one who served in the military. TAPS programs are based on a peer-support model and provide surviving families with unlimited grief counseling, access to community-based care, casework assistance and a 24/7 Helpline. In addition, TAPS hosts an annual National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp, regional seminars and retreats across the country, as well as special programming for suicide loss survivors. All services are provided at no cost to families.

The Legacy Sponsor of this year’s Gala is the Centene Charitable Foundation/Health Net Federal Services. The Title Sponsor is USAA, and Presenting Sponsors include BAE Systems, DynCorp International, Express Scripts, Lockheed Martin, Oshkosh Defense, Pratt & Whitney, Prudential, and Telos Corporation. For more information on this year’s event or to become a sponsor, visit

The Gala will begin with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 7 p.m. The National Building Museum is located at 440 G St. NW in Washington, D.C. Sponsorship information is available at  


Please email Rita Barry-Corke at or call her at O: (202) 588-8277 (TAPS), C: (860) 304-1807 to cover the 2019 TAPS Honor Guard Gala.

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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 85,000 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).