VA and TAPS working together to support the families of America’s fallen heroes

Each time a bugle plays Taps and a folded flag is presented to a grieving family, experts tell us that on average, 10 lives will be profoundly impacted. These are the wives, children, parents, siblings and battle buddies of America’s heroes, and they have paid a very steep price for our nation’s freedom.

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) stands united with the Department of Veterans Affairs to, in the words of President Lincoln to care for “those who shall have borne the battle” and their survivors and their children. With this common purpose in mind, and with our annual Honor Guard Luncheon as the backdrop, TAPS and the VA signed a formal Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on April 12 to assist surviving military and Veteran family members as they identify and secure the benefits available to them through the service of their loved ones.

TAPS and VA have worked together for many years on behalf of America’s surviving military families. In May 2014, our organizations signed our first MOA, focused specifically on education entitlements for widows and surviving children. The new agreement formalizes what has been a long-standing, informal working relationship in areas beyond education, including grief counseling, burial benefits and more.

For the past 23 years, TAPS has provided key services including peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, bereavement seminars and retreats for adults, camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community based care, online and in-person support groups, and the 24/7 National Military Survivor Helpline

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