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
Michele Marcum
Coping with Guilt

TAPS Blog | Today on the TAPS Blog, surviving sibling Michele Marcum shares how she copes with guilt. She says, "I can choose joy. I can choose to hold tight to the little moments and let them build a new life." .. More »

Linda's picture
I'm All About That Bass

TAPS Blog | Today on the TAPS Blog, surviving spouse Linda Ambard shares how she tries to stay positive each day of the grief journey. She writes, "I know that soon the sun will rise again and I choose happiness because it is all about 'that bass.' My attitude says it all.".. More »

Holiday Invite
What Do You Say, Dear?

TAPS Magazine | The winter holiday season arrives each year just when we may feel like pulling the covers over our heads and ignoring it altogether. Invitations to parties and festive events arrive like clockwork. We are torn because we are not sure if we are ready to celebrate, and we long for the days before our .. More »

Candle, Holiday
Healing Rituals for Holiday Grief

TAPS Magazine | This article is found on the Bobbi Emel (www.thebounceblog.com) website: Healing Rituals for Holiday Grief... More »

Christmas Present, Red
Give Yourself the Gift of Memory

TAPS Magazine | "How long has it been?" Bereaved people are often asked this question. I ask it of you. How long has it been? Now answer this question. How long does it feel like it's been? A common answer is, "On one hand it feels like yesterday. On the other, it feels like a long time ago." .. More »

Winter, Forest, Blue
Embracing the Sadness of Grief

TAPS Magazine | Sadness is a hallmark symptom of grief, which in turn is the consequence of losing something we care about. In this way you could say that sadness and love are inextricably linked... More »

Coping With the Holidays and Celebrations, Little Girl at Cemetery
Coping with Holidays and Celebrations

TAPS Magazine | This article is found on American Hospice Foundation website: Coping with Holidays and Celebrations. .. More »

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