MAY 30, 2017, WASHINGTON (NNS) – Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Navy representatives, in conjunction with other service branches, hosted Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) caregivers and survivors at the Pentagon, May 26.
Mattis and Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Dana W. White welcomed each of the more than 350 TAPS participants upon arrival, and extended their appreciation for them.
“I think any time you experience any great joy or any great trauma in your life, it’s always comforting to know you’re not alone,” White said. “I think this event and these wonderful folks who put it together show that, as Americans, we have a lot in common, we sacrifice a lot for each other and we should appreciate more about each other. That’s what this kind of event means to me.”
As part of their visit, TAPS members met the Navy Band Country Current, the Navy Ceremonial Guard, naval aviators, and representatives from the Naval History and Heritage Command and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division.
Exhibits allowed them to interact with many of the robots Carderock engineers have developed, learn about significant events in the Navy’s history, try on flight suits and helmets, and simulate aircraft landings with paper airplanes.
Surviving parents, spouses, children, siblings, and others grieving the death of a service member are gathering for the 23rd Annual TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp for Young Survivors May 25-29 in Arlington, Virginia with events scheduled throughout the Washington, D.C. area.
TAPS offers compassionate care to all those grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in the Armed Forces or as a result of his or her service. Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope 24/7 through a national peer support network and connection to grief resources, all at no cost to surviving families and loved ones.
TAPS has assisted more than 70,000 surviving families, casualty officers and caregivers. TAPS also conducts regional survivor seminars for adults and youth programs at locations across the country, as well as retreats and expeditions around the world.
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackie Hart, Defense Media Activity