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
Lighting Candles in Memory of Loved One
Grief Grappling: Fighting for a New Normal

TAPS Magazine | Grief Demands AttentionThere is tremendous shock, confusion and even denial that accompanies sudden death. It is equally traumatic to watch the prolonged suffering of those you love. Regardless of how grief comes for you, it will. It is the great, dark hunter. You can't ignore grief. It tracks you d.. More »

What to Expect at a Seminar
What to Expect at a Seminar

TAPS Magazine | In our grief, it can be difficult to imagine traveling to an event along with other bereaved survivors, many of whom are strangers, where the focus is on addressing our innermost pain in hopes of healing. And, yet, that is what happens when attending a TAPS Survivor Seminar... More »

Pansini, Angel, Joe and Shannon
Colorado Celebrity Classic Benefits TAPS

TAPS Magazine | In the past 11 years, under the direction of founders Bo and Lynne Cottrell, the Colorado Celebrity Classic has netted more than $3.5 million for TAPS. This year's contribution to TAPS is over $300,000. Proceeds from the Colorado Celebrity Classic events help sponsor vital TAPS programs, events and .. More »

Washington Capitals - Media Interview
Sharing Your Story: Healing Through The Media

TAPS Magazine | When three Marines came to my door the morning of Dec. 14, 2011, I had never felt so alone even though I was immediately surrounded by people. Then came the phone calls and inquiries for interviews from journalists. It was jarring. I wanted to hide away somewhere, but the world wanted to watch me gr.. More »

Book Cover - Both Sides Now
Both Sides Now: A true story of love, loss and bold living

TAPS Magazine | Watching our loved one pass away after a long illness is a grueling nightmare that ushers in change in an expected, but still devastating manner. Many TAPS families have endured just this type of heartbreak. In the pages of Nancy Sharp’s book, “Both Sides Now,” they will find a blend of love, humor .. More »

Tribe book cover
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging

TAPS Magazine | War correspondent and documentarian Sebastian Junger’s latest book deals with the failure of American society to reintegrate American soldiers returning home from combat. Junger is most known for his book “The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea” and his film documentary “Restrepo.” G.. More »

Survivor Adventure Group
Are You Ready to Be a Peer Mentor

TAPS Magazine | During my first TAPS Expedition, I watched new friends stretch, reach and jump for handholds on the rock walls as we climbed. This day, full of red sandstone cliffs near Moab, Utah, was the culmination of our four-day Colorado Plateau adventure. Earlier, as we prepared to rock climb, we learned to b.. More »

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