Media Advisory: TAPS to Host Expert Panel on Toxic Exposure Illnesses in the Military

Panel Held Over Memorial Day Weekend Will Include Nationally Recognized Experts and Families Who Have Lost Loved Ones to Exposure-Related Illnesses


Overview:  The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), the leading national organization caring for the families of fallen U.S. military service members, will host an expert panel entitled, “Understanding Toxic Exposure Illnesses in the Military,” over Memorial Day weekend. The panel will address the alarming trend whereby hundreds of thousands of service members and veterans have been diagnosed with or died from illnesses related to exposure to burn pits, depleted uranium and other toxins during the course of their military service.

Who: Nationally recognized subject matter experts and families whose loved ones died of exposure-related illnesses. Panelists include:

  • Dr. Drew Helmer – Director, War Related Illness and Injury Study Center, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • John Feal – Founder and President, FealGood Foundation and First Responder Advocate
  • Dr. Artie Shelton – Veterans Health Council
  • Coleen Bowman – TAPS Senior Advisor, Toxic Exposure Loss
  • Derek Fronabarger – Legislative Director, Wounded Warrior Project

What: Panel discussion on toxic exposure illnesses in the military, with first-person stories from family members who have lost loved ones to exposure-related illnesses.

Where: Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 VA-110, Arlington, VA 22202

When: Sunday, May 26, 2019 at 11 a.m. – Held during the 25th Annual TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp

Contact: Please contact TAPS VP Media Relations, Rita Barry-Corke, at or (860) 304-1807 if interested in attending. 

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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).