TAPS and Grunt Style are Teaming up This Memorial Day to Help Survivors
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is an organization born of tragedy. Founder and president Bonnie Carroll lost her husband Army Brigadier General Tom Carroll in a tragic C-12 plane crash in Alaska in 1992. While grieving with the others families affected by that crash Bonnie began to research the organizations that were available to grieving families, and in 1994 she created TAPS. “The heart of our organization is survivors helping survivors heal,” she said.
While TAPS offers a 24-hour hotline for anyone needing a friend during their grieving, they offer more than immediate one-off assistance. What TAPS does is connect those in need of help with grieving with a peer that can really understand their pain.
“At TAPS, we celebrate the lives of all our fallen heroes, and we help our families incorporate their legacies into their lives as they move forward,” Carrol said. “The peer-to-peer connection is a strong one; mothers helping other mothers, siblings helping other siblings, etc. It works because people can relate to others who share their circumstances, and in the case of peer mentors, someone further along their grief journey can provide great hope to someone who isn’t as far along. Many of the children who participate in our Good Grief Camps find connections with their mentors that last for years. It’s not uncommon for us to hear of mentors who call their kids to check in on them, ask about their grades, etc., for years following a formal event.”
May 25-29 TAPS will be hosting the 23rd annual National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp in Arlington, Virginia. Over the course of 23 years, the event has seen tremendous growth and has been able to help the grieving of countless survivors. Carroll said of the event:
“If you came to a National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp in the early 1990s, you would have been one of about 100 attending the event. Now, 23 years after the organization’s founding, we anticipate approximately 2,000 participants at this annual event. Each year, there is a mixture of familiar faces and those who are newly bereaved, attending their first TAPS gathering.”
For this annual event, Grunt Style LLC has volunteered to provide TAPS with shirts for the attendees. Knowing the importance of the mission of TAPS, Grunt Style has been there to assist in every way needed. These two patriotic organizations have joined forces in the past in order to help our nation’s veterans and those affected by loss. Bonnie Carroll was supremely complementary of the work Grunt Style has volunteered in the past and will continue to in the future:
“TAPS staff was aware of Grunt Style due to its social media following in the military and veteran space. In advance of the Chicago Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp, the TAPS staff called several veteran-owned companies to recruit mentors and help us get the word out that TAPS was holding an event in the Midwest. Grunt Style indicated they would support us in any way needed, with local volunteers, donated materials and social media campaigns and they went far above and beyond any expectation. We look forward to our partnership continuing, they are a high-speed group of veterans who truly get the impact of our mission because they have walked this journey of service and sacrifice.”
The dedicated team at Grunt Style has been on the ground helping mentor kids at the Good Grief Camp held in Chicago as well, showing that they are willing to go above and beyond to help support TAPS and their mission. Ms. Carroll said:
“A group of team members, including Grunt Style Founder/CEO Daniel Alarik, volunteered as Good Grief Camp mentors for surviving military children for the weekend. The bonds forged and the safe spaces created during a seminar weekend between mentor and child are crucial to the programming and framework of TAPS youth programs… Prior to the seminar, Grunt Style ran a social media campaign to recruit mentors and inform their community about our efforts. They are a very progressive and connected organization, and their enthusiastic support made all the difference in the world for TAPS and the families who benefited from their care.”