TAPS President and Founder Bonnie Carroll Honored with Fifth Annual Leo K. Thorsness Leadership Award

Award Recognizes Outstanding Service to Military Veterans, Families and Caregivers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 6, 2019

ARLINGTON, Va. – TAPS President and Founder Bonnie Carroll was honored by America’s Warrior Partnership with the fifth annual Leo K. Thorsness Leadership Award on Sept. 5, 2019, joining a distinguished group of former recipients including Fox News anchor, Jon Scott, businessman and philanthropist, Bernard Marcus, former Senator Elizabeth Dole and former President George W. Bush.

The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership and outstanding service on behalf of military veterans, families and caregivers. It is administered annually by America’s Warrior Partnership in honor of the late Col. Leo K. Thorsness, a Medal of Honor recipient and one of the most decorated American airmen of the Vietnam War.

“It is a tremendous honor to be named the fifth recipient of the Leo K. Thorsness Leadership Award and to join a distinguished group of recipients who have committed themselves wholeheartedly to our veterans, their families and caregivers,” Carroll said. “Col. Thorsness exemplified service and leadership both in and out of uniform, and his distinguishing qualities of humility and bravery resonate deeply with all those who have loved and lost a fallen military hero.”

Carroll is a retired Air Force Reserve major, an appointee in the Reagan and Bush White Houses and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. She founded the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), the leading national organization providing critical support services to the families of America’s fallen military heroes, in 1994 following the death of her husband, Brigadier General Tom Carroll, in an Army aviation accident.

TAPS complements the honors rendered and benefits given to bereaved military families by the government and expands that care to all who are grieving the death of a military loved one. For over 25 years, TAPS has provided ongoing emotional support, resources, comfort and care to more than 90,000 surviving military family members, giving them a national network of trained peers, camps and retreats for all ages. The organization also offers casework services including financial assistance, connections to community-based care and a 24/7 helpline, all available at no cost to all who are grieving a fallen hero.

“Leo channeled his experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam into the inspirational leadership that stood as a guiding principle of our team’s mission to empower veterans,” said Jim Lorraine, President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership. “Similarly, Bonnie’s own personal experience facing a traumatic loss was the crucible through which she forged her own leadership in serving bereaved military families. She has clearly earned her place among those who embody Leo’s spirit.”

Carroll received the award at the America’s Warrior Partnership’s Sixth Annual Warrior Community Integration Symposium in Atlanta, Ga. from Sept. 4–6, 2019. More information about the Leo K. Thorsness Leadership Award and the Warrior Community Integration Symposium is available at AmericasWarriorPartnership.org/2019-Symposium.



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 90,000 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).  


America’s Warrior Partnership is committed to empowering communities to empower veterans. We fill the gaps that exist between current veteran service organizations by helping nonprofits connect with the veterans, military members and families in need: bolstering their efficacy, improving their results and empowering their initiatives. America’s Warrior Partnership is a force multiplier for warrior community integration that enhances communities where great Americans choose to live and contribute. For more information on the organization and how to get involved, visit www.AmericasWarriorPartnership.org.