This year, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is celebrating its 25th anniversary. For those who are not already familiar, TAPS is a national nonprofit that offers services and support to those grieving the loss of a loved one who died during, or as a result of, their military service.
This nonprofit was founded in 1994 by Bonnie Carroll, after the loss of her husband, Brig. Gen. Thomas Carroll, when she realized there was no organization providing the support she needed.
Since then, TAPS has become well-recognized and esteemed, and so has Bonnie; she is the only civilian who has received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Fisher House award. Bonnie is compassionate, selfless, and tireless – constantly travelling around the world helping people. I remember a phone call during our first year of working together in which I misheard her say she was in Cabo. In the midst of my raving about what a great place Cabo is to vacation, she said, “No, Kabul, Afghanistan.” Always working, always helping – the true embodiment of TAPS.
The mission of TAPS is powerful, and its services are even more so. I have personally seen the work that this organization does, and impact it has. TAPS helps families navigate the grieving process through peer-based emotional support, and has assisted more than 90,000 surviving families to date through its network of volunteers and resources, 24/7 support (National Military Survivor Helpline), and programs (Military Survivor Seminars, Good Grief Camps, etc.).
This organization is invaluable to the families it supports, and rewarding for those who get involved. Happy 25th, TAPS – Telos and I are proud to stand by your side. Here’s to the many anniversaries to come!
Telos CEO John Wood blogs about business, education, and the values that guide us.