Army

October 18, 2012

Army honors widow who helps families turn grief into hope

WASHINGTON — After losing her husband in 1992, Bonnie Carroll channeled her grief into a support organization that provides hope and comfort to the surviving Families of service members.

“She has changed the lives of thousands of survivors and provided unequaled services for those loved ones left behind,” reads an excerpt from the Outstanding Civilian Service Award which was presented to Carroll on Friday.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno presented the award to Carroll, founder and president of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, known as TAPS, during a Twilight Tattoo at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va.

TAPS “offers peer-based emotional support to bereaved military Families,” Carroll said, explaining that “peer-based” means “establishing a connection to others who have endured a similar loss.

“There is an understanding that is unspoken between survivors — just knowing someone else has experienced a similar loss gives people comfort and the knowledge that they are not alone. While many people sympathize with survivors of our fallen, few understand, truly, what they are going through. That is something only a peer-based support organization can provide.”

Among the services TAPS provides are: Good Grief Camps and Camp Outs for children; seminars for adults; connections to care providers in communities across America; casualty casework assistance referrals to all federal, state and private-sector agencies; grief and trauma resources and information; a 24/7 National Military Survivor Helpline at 1.800.959.8277; and a website with useful information at http://www.taps.org.

In the last 12 months, TAPS has intaked 2,149 newly-bereaved Army survivors needing support and services.

TAPS Good Grief Camp is a particularly helpful program for kids, Carroll said.

“It is where children learn that they are not alone in facing the death of a loved one,” she said. “Children meet others who have experienced a loss and build their own peer-based network for support. They do age-appropriate educational activities that help them learn how to cope with their grief, so they have skills to help them after they go home. They also learn how America honors those who have served and died, and how their Families are connected to a national legacy of service and sacrifice.”

Children are paired up with a TAPS Good Grief Camp mentor who is trained in how to companion a grieving child, she said, and the companion helps provide a critical connection back to the military Family for the child.

In addition to Good Grief Camp, TAPS also holds Camp Outs, another program with children in mind.

This summer, the 7-year-old son of a fallen Soldier attended a TAPS Camp Out — his first TAPS program and first time away from home alone since his dad’s death, she said.

“At the Camp Out, he was paired with a TAPS military mentor, and he made new friends his own age who could understand his loss because they missed their dads, too. This little boy shared his sadness, but also his pride. He found a safe place at TAPS to talk about the feelings he was having and learn coping skills that would sustain him.

In one exercise, the children put their hand on a piece of paper while their military mentor traced the outline of their fingers, Carroll said. Then in each finger they wrote a question they would ask their dad, if they could have him back for a day. This little boy wrote, ‘Why did it happen?’ ‘Why did the bad guy kill him?’ ‘Why did he have to die?’ ‘Was he with his friend?’ and ‘Why was he in the war?’ He also asked, ‘What did you do while you were a Soldier?’ and ‘Why is the war made?’

“These are weighty subjects for a 7-year-old,” Carroll said, “but he was not alone with these thoughts, and in this safe place, he could talk through these tough topics honestly and openly.”

Carroll said TAPS offers hope, healing, comfort and care to thousands of children like this 7-year-old, allowing them to put words to the feelings deep in their hearts. “This little boy ran to his mom when she came to pick him up, and she shared with us later that for the first time, he was smiling again and able to be a kid. This is the miracle TAPS offers.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Tanja Linton

Intelligence Senior Leader Conference maps out ‘way ahead’

Tanja Linton U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence Commander Maj. Gen. Robert Ashley opened the Intelligence Senior Leaders Conference at the Intelligence System Integration Laboratory Dec. 10. Senior intelligence leaders...
 
 

Army toughens rules on enlisted fraternization

Office romance provides interesting water-cooler gossip in the civilian world and an endless source of material for television sitcoms. However, in the military it can potentially compromise good order and discipline. Consequently, the Army has decided to toughen the rules on fraternization once again. While intimate or romantic relationships have been prohibited between enlisted and...
 
 

CWFC designed to improve employee morale

There’s an organization on post designed to enhance the quality of life for Fort Huachuca federal Civilian employees during and outside of duty hours. The Civilian Welfare Fund Council, or CWFC, Fort Huachuca, is a Category IV Non-appropriated Fund Instrumentality with proceeds from concessionaire commissions. Its purpose is to manage the Civilian Welfare Funds, or...
 

 
U.S. Army

Military Intelligence – Moment in MI history

Operation Just Cause has its 25th anniversary At 1 a.m. on Dec. 20, 1989, roughly 13,000 American troops under the operational command of the XVIII Airborne Corps airlifted into Panama to join the 13,000 Soldiers and Marines al...
 
 

ACS offers scholarships, resiliency training

AER provides scholarships Army Emergency Relief maintains two scholarship programs — the Spouse Education Assistance Program and the Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarship Program for dependent children. Both scholarships provide financial assistance for students who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree. Scholarship applications will be accepted from Jan. 2 to May 1 each year for...
 
 

FH Exchange shoppers save with price matching

Whether shopping in stores or online, Soldiers, retirees and their Families get the lowest price at the Fort Huachuca Exchange. In fact, shoppers who price matched at Army & Air Force Exchange Service locations worldwide saved $6.4 million in 2013. At brick-and-mortar locations, price differences of $10 or less are matched on the spot —...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin