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3033 Wilson Blvd
Third Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
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Serving All NJ Counties


About TAPS

THE MISSION OF TAPS

TAPS provides comfort, care and resources to all those grieving the death of a military loved one. 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 provides a variety of programs to survivors nation and worldwide. Our National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp has been held annually in Washington, D.C., over Memorial Day weekend since 1994. 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. Staff can get you connected to counseling in your community and help navigate benefits and resources.

If you are grieving the loss of a fallen service member, or if you know someone who can use our support, the TAPS 24/7 National Military Survivor Helpline is always available toll-free with loving support and resources at 800-959-TAPS (8277).

PEER SUPPORT FOR BEREAVED SURVIVORS

Peer support gives those who have had a unique experience or who are facing a personal challenge the framework to connect with another with that shared experience or challenge, either individually or in a group setting. By the simple act of knowing they are not alone in their experience and realizing that others have overcome the challenges they are facing, peers find validation, normalization, and ultimately a sense of hopefulness.

TAPS was founded on the principles of best practices in peer-based emotional support for bereaved survivors. Today, TAPS provides care to grieving military family members using these best practices. Renowned researcher Dr. Paul Bartone has documented the impact of this work in a landmark new systematic review of evidence and best practices in peer-based support. This report highlights eight ground rules for successful programs that can be benchmarked by all those working in peer-based programs.

If you are here because our mission to care for the families of America’s fallen heroes speaks to you as well, we welcome you to connect with us about giving, volunteering, professional engagement or careers.

TAPS is a national nonprofit 501(c)3 Veterans Service Organization and is not part of, or endorsed by, the Department of Defense.

A PLACE OF COMPANIONSHIP

In grief’s darkest hours, we ask ourselves the hard questions: What do we do now? What does this new life look like? Who are we without our loved ones? We wring the questions as though we’re trying to squeeze out wisdom or answers; we twist and stretch them as we face the everyday realities of our loss.

Although the path to peace and purpose is different for everyone, TAPS programs can be signposts — pointing the way toward comfort, camaraderie and companionship. Through our TAPS programs, we gather to heal, console and explore. And we start to answer those hard questions.

We gather at seminars for practical advice and sharing groups. We see new worlds on expeditions. Our young survivors grieve together, play together and learn to laugh again at Good Grief Camp. We meet others like us through online chats. On retreats, we bring together small groups of survivors to build a sense of community through activities. We find opportunities to create healthy habits and bodies at Inner Warrior events. We memorialize, celebrate and grow at family retreats. We rediscover traditions and memories through teams4taps. We create rich lives despite loss, knowing we carry our loved ones with us.

Every TAPS program is designed to help you feel companioned as you grieve, supported as you rebuild and united as we choose to hope.

PROGRAMS

FIND INSPIRATION AND HOPE
Please note this program is specifically designed for survivors grieving the death of a military loved one.

No matter where you are in your grief journey, support and connection await you at a TAPS Seminar. Both regional seminars and national seminars are inclusive, discussion-based events that include workshops for understanding and processing grief and small-group sharing sessions where you can connect with peers. TAPS Seminars are held in conjunction with TAPS Good Grief Camps for young survivors.

Over family-style meals, during workshops, and while participating in special events, you’ll get to know other surviving family members in a relaxed, welcoming setting. TAPS Seminars give you space to feel the encouragement and hope that you can heal and pride in sharing your loved one with others.

You’ll leave a TAPS Seminar with information and inspiration, knowing you have been among people who understand.

YOUTH PROGRAMS
Please note this program is specifically designed for survivors grieving the death of a military loved one.

Though their lives are marked by grief, young survivors at TAPS know their lives will also be marked by camaraderie, mentorship, emotional maturity, adventure and fun.

Led by experts in the fields of child development, mental health and education, TAPS Youth Programs provide safe spaces for military children to explore grief and embrace healing.

At TAPS Seminars, this takes the form of Good Grief Camps where children are able to share and learn coping skills through games, crafts and other activities in a fun and supportive environment. Each child is paired with a military mentor and reminds the child that he or she is still a part of the military community.

During summer, it’s campouts, teen adventures and family retreats. Good Grief Campouts combine traditional camp fun, like ziplining, water activities and s’mores, with grief support and remembrance ceremonies. Teens can tackle a challenging outdoor adventure, like hiking the Appalachian Trail, at a teen adventure. These adventures teach teamwork and communication skills. Family retreats are a place for surviving spouses and children to connect as a family through different activities.

Separate programming for parents stresses resources, communication strategies, and ways to help grieving children at every stage.

YOUNG ADULT PROGRAM
Foundational life skills to build a bright, healthy life full of hope and growth

The TAPS Young Adults Program is for 18 to 30-year-old military surviving children and siblings. Whether you are a graduate of our Good Grief Camp or new to our TAPS family, please know you have found your tribe here. This program focuses on 5 Pillars of growth and healing during your grief journey.

EXPEDITIONS
FORGING AHEAD
Please note this program is specifically designed for survivors grieving the death of a military loved one.

Grief is a difficult, arduous journey, so why shouldn’t it also be spectacular?

TAPS Expeditions are longer, outdoor skills-based events that require dedication, preparation and a real sense of adventure. Professional guides lead small groups of survivors through some of the world’s most challenging and inspiring landscapes — through the ancient city of Machu Picchu, to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and more.

Leading up to the expedition, survivors will form a team bond and gain familiarity with each other through monthly team meetings to discuss training regimens, gear lists and more. Your team will be a source of encouragement as you train for this rigorous adventure and an ongoing support network long after the TAPS Expedition is complete.

You’ll complete a TAPS Expedition feeling proud, powerful — and probably a little tired.

WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT

DISCOVER PURPOSE AND COMMUNITY AFTER LOSS
Please note this program is specifically designed for survivors grieving the death of a military loved one.

The pain of loss often ushers in hard questions about identity and purpose. As we work to integrate loss into our lives, we must also redefine who we are.

These are big things to hold, but we’ve got you. Can connections with other surviving women help comfort you in your grief? Yes. Can a supportive sisterhood improve your life? Yes. Our vibrant, compassionate community of surviving women is a place of support and inspiration, where we treasure opportunities to be each other’s teachers, confidantes, cheerleaders, and friends.

The TAPS Women’s Empowerment program uses both in-person and virtual events to bring surviving women together. When we gather in person, the effect is magical, and we cherish our time together. We also know, however, that distance doesn’t silence the heart of our sisterhood – and so we’re also just a few clicks away with virtual offerings.

  • WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT VIRTUAL OFFERINGS: Each Women’s Empowerment Circle will be a safe space where we can listen, learn, express ourselves, and remind ourselves that no matter where we are, there’s a place we can call home.
  • These video chat sessions are held every weekday and are open to any TAPS woman wrestling with questions of identity and purpose after loss. You can join this safe, supportive online environment via webcam or on the phone.
  • TAPS WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT VIRTUAL RETREATS: After the death of a loved one, we may feel overwhelmed, disoriented, and alone. We are forced to find a new path, and doing so can feel frightening and exhausting.

For those new to grief, we’ll explore coping skills, share resources, and learn how grief affects body and mind. There will also be plenty of time for laughter, reflection, and sharing peaceful moments within a beautiful retreat center.  This will be a time to allow yourself the freedom to grieve and to heal – and also to share the experience with other women.

For those farther along the grief journey, we will look at how the past has shaped us, consider where we are now, and establish a framework for where we want to go as we move toward lives of joy and healing. Through art, journaling, mindfulness, and movement, we’ll create and connect the visions of our lives, tapping into what we’ve always wanted — or things we want now.

SURVIVORS HELPING SURVIVORS HEAL
Please note this program is specifically designed for survivors grieving the death of a military loved one.

The TAPS Peer Mentor Program means you’ll never walk alone.

This is a journey we are committed to sharing with you, alongside you, for as long as you need. Whether you’re further along in your grief journey and ready to help others or recently bereaved and reaching for hope, the power of survivors helping other survivors has proven successful.

The TAPS Peer Mentor Program equips survivors 18 months past their loss to serve as a mentor to fellow survivors looking for support from someone who truly understands. Our peer mentors innately and intimately understand the unique aspects of military tragedy. Peer mentors are there to listen when you need someone to talk to, be a friend when you’re feeling lonely and celebrate the triumphs in your grief journey.

If you want to be connected with a peer mentor, visit our Request a Peer Mentor page. If you’re a survivor 18 months beyond your loss, consider becoming a peer mentor. If you are not a survivor but would like to support our nation’s surviving military families, please visit our Volunteer Central page.

SUICIDE LOSS SUPPORT: WE’VE GOT YOU
TAPS has supported thousands of survivors of military suicide loss by offering them hope, healing, and renewed opportunities for personal growth. If you’ve lost a military loved one to suicide, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got you. At TAPS, we understand that suicide grief is different. We know you are struggling with a range of powerful emotions and wrestling with very complicated questions. Why did this happen? Where do I go from here?

Fortunately, you are not alone on this journey. We are survivors just like you. We have been down the road you are traveling. Let us help you best honor your loved one’s life. TAPS special resources and programming provide compassionate care to all survivors of military suicide loss. Our unique approach will help stabilize you and your family, guide you through “healthy grief,” and put you on a path toward healing and growth.

We are you. You are us. Let’s heal together.

HONORING OUR FALLEN HEROES THROUGH SPORTS
Please note this program is specifically designed for survivors grieving the death of a military loved one.

teams4taps works with teams across the country to bring joy to surviving military families and to honor the lives of their fallen heroes. Through teams4taps, military survivors have been able to honor their fallen heroes in stadiums across the country, shop with pro football players, get out on the ice with NHL hockey players, attend tennis tournaments and meet NASCAR stars.

When you see the big smiles of TAPS families on football fields and basketball courts and at almost every other type of sports venue, you’ll know professional athletes and sports teams have stepped up to provide special experiences as part of teams4taps.

Was a certain team a favorite of your fallen hero? Did you and your loved one watch or attend games together? Do you have a story about your hero and a favorite player? If your loved one had a special story or connection with a sports team or professional athlete, we would love to hear it. Submit your stories and photos through our online form or email teams4taps@taps.org.

MAKE NEW MEMORIES WITH STARS4TAPS
Please note this program is specifically designed for survivors grieving the death of a military loved one.

Stars4TAPS works with the entertainment industry — including musicians, actors, Broadway and TV shows, films, and productions on tour — to create meaningful opportunities for TAPS families to make new memories with the entertainers who once brought them, and their fallen hero, joy and happiness.

Is there a country concert you had tickets to see when your loved one was supposed to return from deployment, a Tom Hanks movie that brings back memories of your first date or a TV series you used to watch with your sibling? If your loved one had a special story or connection with an entertainer or production, we would love to hear it. Submit your stories and photos through our online form or email stars4taps@taps.org.

FIND COMFORT AND HEALING ONLINE
Please note this program is specifically designed for survivors grieving the death of a military loved one.

The TAPS online grief support groups are here for you wherever you are in the grief process — and wherever you are in the country or the world. The TAPS Online Community allows easy, yet meaningful, connections among survivors. Whether you want to share your story or just read how other survivors are sharing and coping, this online grief support community is a way for you to develop and strengthen your connections with your TAPS family from the comfort of your home.

As a gathering place for survivors, the TAPS Online Community hosts chat sessions for real-time conversations, message boards that provide space for questions and comments, and peer-based sharing groups to drive conversation and connection.

TAPS online peer grief support groups are discussion boards where you can connect with others who share common bonds and shared loss. TAPS offers online peer groups in:

  • Combat Loss
  • Loss Due To Illness
  • Substance-Related Loss
  • Suicide Loss
  • Adult Children
  • Contractor/Government Civilian
  • LBGTQ
  • Men
  • Parents, Stepparents, Grandparents
  • Peer Mentors
  • Siblings
  • Widow, Widower, Fiancé and Significant Other
  • Loss of a Loved One

LOCAL SURVIVOR SUPPORT
Please note this program is specifically designed for survivors grieving the death of a military loved one.

TAPS Care Groups bring the feel of TAPS into your community. TAPS Care Groups are available across the country for surviving military family members, friends and loved ones who want and need the friendly, informal support of the TAPS family in between larger events.

These local survivor support groups provide emotional support and camaraderie for military survivors. Lasting relationships can be built on common threads. Local survivor support groups are encouraging and enlightening. Many find they learn new coping skills and stress-relieving strategies by talking to others who can relate.

While each meeting is co-hosted by a volunteer TAPS Peer Mentor and/or a volunteer mental health professional, there is no guided, structured therapy. Instead, we offer the most therapeutic thing we can imagine — time to talk, opportunities to listen, and the precious feeling of knowing we are not alone. Each group meets regularly at a safe, easy-to-find location with parking.

If you are grieving the death of a loved one in service to America, you will be warmly welcomed — regardless of the circumstances of the death, your relationship to the deceased, military service branch, or where the death occurred. There is no charge for attending TAPS Care Groups; all we ask is that you respect the rules of the group and let us help you find hope and healing wherever you are.

WHEREVER YOU ARE – TAPS IS THERE
Please note this program is specifically designed for survivors grieving the death of a military loved one.

Community is important!  This is why we create a broad variety of opportunities to bring the TAPS family together.  TAPS Togethers are one-day, organized, social events across the country, led by TAPS Staff or a survivor like you, with the goal of expanding our peer support community. Powerful experiences, meaningful conversations, and growing in relationship with other military survivors encourages hope and healing.  We draw both strength and inspiration from coming together.

Whether sharing time over a cup of coffee, getting into the outdoors, attending a local event, sharing a therapeutic experience, working on a service project together, or coming together for another one-day event, TAPS Togethers are the local answer to the age-old question – is TAPS in my community?  The simple answer is yes!

SHARE YOUR IDEA
Survivors: You know your community best! Perhaps you know of a simple cost-effective way to bring TAPS families together for a day of hope and healing in your area. We would love to hear from you! Please submit your idea and we will connect with you to explore the possibilities.

Supporters: If you would like to sponsor or donate a service to help us bring TAPS families together in your local community, please contact us at tapstogethers@taps.org. We appreciate your support!

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TAPS
3033 Wilson Blvd
Third Floor
Arlington, VA 22201