Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Caring for the Families of the Fallen
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New to TAPS?

The death of a loved one who served in the military can turn your normal life upside down. Sometimes even your friends can’t understand what you are going through after the death of your loved one, because they haven’t been where you are. You may feel isolated, lonely or just plain sad. Grief is a normal response to loving someone and losing them, but it can hurt so much. And it may not just be you who is hurting. Other people in your life that you love may also be in pain, and you are not quite sure what to do or how to help them. Wherever you are at - you are not alone.

TAPS welcomes anyone who is grieving the death of someone who died while serving in the military - regardless of where they died or how they died. If you are hurting, we are here for you. We are so sorry for the loss of your loved one.

We know that military loss can feel very different, from other types of loss in your life. There is a public meaning often assigned to the death. You may have questions about the death, feelings you aren't sure how to process.

We began as a group of bereaved military families who lost their loved ones in a military plane crash in Alaska in 1992. Those families found comfort, connection and hope in talking with each other as they rebuilt their lives. After undertaking a two year study of support services available for bereaved military families, Bonnie Carroll founded TAPS in 1994 and modeled it on best practices found in peer-based support programs. We provide a safe and confidential program that supports people who are grieving.

You can connect with TAPS in one way or many ways:

  • Call us - if you would like to talk with someone on our survivor care team who can let you know about services and programs you might find helpful, or just need someone to talk to, please call us any time at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277). Our resource and information helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • Sign up for a survivor resource kit and join our mailing list - we have a kit filled with resources and materials to help in coping with the death of your loved one. Sign up here. We can also add you to our mailing list so you'll start to receive the TAPS magazine each quarter.
  • Read articles about grief and loss in the TAPS magazine. Or visit our survivor care area online.
  • Get support through our online communities or real-time chats.
  • Request a peer mentor - this program connects you one-on-one with a caring person who has experienced a similar loss and has been trained in how to companion someone else who is grieving.
  • Connect with other survivors at a TAPS care group in your local community or request a customized list of grief support resources in your community.
  • Find out about bereavement counseling at a Vet Center or through another provider - our staff can help you set up the appointment if you like.
  • Meet other survivors at a TAPS event- see our event calendar.
  • Get questions answered - contact our casualty casework staff if you need help accessing benefits, want assistance requesting information, or don't know where to turn for answers in a difficult situation related to your loved one's death.

We are so sorry to get to know you, because we know you came here because you lost someone who died. But we are so glad you found us, and we are here for you. 

Our Stories
Topic: General Grief
The Final Commute

TAPS Blog | My dad and I commuted all our lives together and music accompanied us on those travels.  Cinco de Mayo marks the day of our last journey, our last playlist, at Arlington National Cemetery. .. More »

A Pain That Never Dies

TAPS Blog | The death of a fellow soldier can cause ongoing grief and depression.  An Army chaplain shares her story of loss and finding hope again after a battle buddy's death by suicide. .. More »

Friends of TAPS: DynCorp
Friends of TAPS: DynCorp

TAPS Magazine | Since 2001, DynCorp International has lost 84 teammates while supporting our nation’s foreign policy objectives. The sacrifice of these contractors is not widely known nor heralded except by their families and friends. Our nation asked their loved ones to go to war serving beside our military. Their.. More »

Where Will You Be on Memorial Day?
Where Will You Be on Memorial Day?

TAPS Magazine | Turning the pages of our calendars to a new year reveals a host of days to fill with activities, appointments and events. But one day in the year marks a moment that binds us together as a family: Memorial Day... More »

Good Grief Camp Corner
Good Grief Camp Corner

TAPS Magazine | It was May 2006. I was a civilian, a mental health professional, and I was standing in the lobby of the Doubletree Hotel in Arlington, Va., feeling lost... More »

Summer Good Grief Camp Opportunities
Summer Good Grief Camp Opportunities

TAPS Magazine | This summer, TAPS has space for more than 80 surviving children from around the country to gather in California and North Carolina for two Good Grief Campouts and an inaugural teen hiking adventure in the Cumberland area of Maryland and Pennsylvania... More »

Letter From TAPS: We’ve Got You Covered
Letter From TAPS: We’ve Got You Covered

TAPS Magazine | Winter can be a harsh, bleak expanse of empty days and introspection. We understand that, as another season slowly unfolds; we often consider how to face another spring without our loved ones. That’s why we pledge to be with you all the time and everywhere. For more than 22 years, TAPS has stood rea.. More »

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