TAPS to Welcome Families of America’s Fallen Military Heroes for Memorial Day Weekend Events in Washington

25th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar and “Good Grief Camp” Will Bring Together Surviving Spouses, Parents, Children, Siblings and Battle Buddies for Weekend of Commemoration, Connection


ARLINGTON, Va. – May 20, 2019 – The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors(TAPS) will welcome more than 2,500 participants to the nation’s capital over Memorial Day weekend for its 25th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp.

Kicking off on Friday, May 24, the event will span four days, culminating with the official ceremonies on Memorial Day, May 27, at Arlington National Cemetery and families of the fallen in the National Memorial Day Parade. The program, which offers a Good Grief Camp for bereaved children and informative workshops for adults focused on coping with traumatic grief, provides many opportunities for surviving family members to honor the life and service of their loved ones.

"TAPS celebrates the lives and legacies of our fallen heroes every day, but on Memorial Day, we join with all Americans to honor their selfless service and sacrifice," said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder and 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. “For the 25th year, families of the fallen from across the country will gather for the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar in Washington, where they will connect and support each other as they honor the loved ones they have lost.”

At the TAPS Good Grief Camp, more than 500 children who have lost a loved one in military service will learn coping strategies and meet other children grieving a similar loss. During the camp, the surviving children will be paired one-to-one with military members and veterans who serve as trained TAPS Military Mentors.

Members of the media are invited to participate in a variety of daily activities, including interviews with TAPS President and Founder Bonnie Carroll, noted authorities on grief and loss, volunteers and surviving military family members attending the seminar. Select activities are open to media. Advance notice is requested.

Friday, May 24

  • Good Grief Camp Opening Ceremony, with remarks by General Martin Dempsey (9:00-10:00 a.m.)
  • National Military Survivor Seminar Opening Ceremony for adults, with remarks by General Martin Dempsey (11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.)

Saturday, May 25

  • Remarks by General Martin Dempsey (8:00-9:00 a.m.)
  • Good Grief Camp Offsite Activities: buses will transport groups of kids to Smithsonian museums, the National Zoo and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (11:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.)
  • Good Grief Camp Jamboree at Washington Wizards facility (5:00-9:00 p.m.)
  • TAPS Grand Banquet presented by Chef Robert Irvine Team and Our Military Chefs, with remarks by General Paul Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie, with entertainment by country music entertainer, Ryan Weaver (6:00-9:00 p.m.)

Sunday, May 26

  • Special presentation by country music entertainer, Army veteran and surviving sibling, Ryan Weaver (8:00-9:00 a.m.)
  • Expert Panel: “Understanding Toxic Exposure Illnesses in the Military,” with Dr. Drew Helmer, Department of Veterans Affairs and John Feal, 9/11 first responder and Founder and President, FealGood Foundation (11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)
  • TAPS Family BBQ featuring the graduation of high school seniors from Good Grief Camp (5:30-8:30 p.m.)

Monday, May 27

  • Memorial Day Observances at Arlington National Cemetery: 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Note: Media credentialing is handled by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. Requests must be submitted directly to MDW. More information at https://www.mdwhome.mdw.army.mil/media-relations)
  • National Memorial Day Parade (2:00-4:30 p.m.)

Please contact Rita Barry-Corke or Victoria Leoni of TAPS Media Relations at media@taps.org or call (860) 304-1807 to schedule interviews or attend any part of the seminar.

Twitter: @TAPSorg
Hashtag: #LoveLivesOn
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TAPSorg

The 25th TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp is made possible by the generous support of partners including Boeing; Prudential; USAA; New York Life Foundation; Lockheed Martin Corporation; National Football League; Amazon Web Services; USO; Ashton Tiffany; Booz Allen Hamilton; Veterans United Foundation; GEICO; General Dynamics Information Technology; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Fort Myer Thrift Shop; United Concordia Dental; WFMC Patrick Henry Chapter; BAE Systems; Carmine’s; Chick Fil-A; COSI; Crystal Gateway Marriott; Fisher House Foundation Hero Miles; Giant Food; Green Beans Coffee; Hasbro; Memorial Day Flowers; Mission BBQ; National Basketball Association; Oshkosh Defense; Point 27; Papa John’s; Project Linus; Talking Rain Sparkling Ice; The Robert Irvine Foundation; Subway; TMS; UPS and the Washington Wizards.

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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).