Families of Fallen American Military Heroes Gather in California for Weekend of Hope and Healing

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


ARLINGTON, Va. – Bereaved families of fallen U.S. military service members will come together at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) Western Regional Seminar and Good Grief Camp from July 12-14 in City of Industry, Calif. The event will bring together hundreds of surviving family members to share their stories of love and loss, learn ways to cope with their grief and find healing in their shared experiences.

“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 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.”

For adults, the three-day seminar will feature sessions led by experts in the fields of grief and loss, suicide, trauma and bereavement. Throughout the weekend, 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 TAPS Good Grief Camp where they will gain a network of friends their own age who are also grieving a fallen military hero. 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. Active duty military members and recent veterans interested in volunteering as TAPS Military Mentors should visit www.taps.org/militarymentor.


On Saturday, July 13, opening ceremonies will be held from 9 a.m. 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.


  • Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder
  • Renowned experts on traumatic loss, grief and bereavement
  • Erin Jacobson, TAPS Senior Advisor, Outreach and Engagement and surviving fiancée of U.S. Army Ranger Cpl. Jason Kessler
  • Renee Monczynski, TAPS Young Adult Coordinator and surviving spouse of U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Steven Monczynski
  • Gabriel Rao, Manager, TAPS Mens Program and surviving brother of U.S. Army Sgt. Elijah John Miles Rao
  • Surviving military family members from across the region


Please contact Rita Barry-Corke at rita@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 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 www.taps.org or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).