Partner with Heart - Bonnie Carroll from TAPS

June 5, 2015

The latest feature of Heart Behind the House highlights Bonnie Carroll, president of TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). Bonnie’s organization supports those who have lost loved ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Here she shares the importance of their work and their partners who make supporting families a reality.

The latest feature of Heart Behind the House highlights Bonnie Carroll, president of TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). Bonnie’s organization supports those who have lost loved ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Here she shares the importance of their work and their partners who make supporting families a reality.

As Ken Fisher said in his 25th Anniversary Message, “…the Fisher House program was conceived during peacetime, and its existence never more valuable than during wartime. We promise to continue to honor the special sacrifices these heroes and their loved ones have made for our great country.” 

Fisher House and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) have been partners for over two decades.  Founded in 1994, TAPS was an early partner with Fisher house in honoring America’s legacy of service and sacrifice, ensuring all loved ones were surrounded with comfort and care as their needs were met. 

 Our collaboration has included providing immediate and ongoing support for families at Fisher Houses when a service member dies. TAPS is there to embrace the grieving family, while providing resources to Fisher House staff also coping with loss.  TAPS has conducted training for Fisher House managers on grief and loss, and provided guidance in offering support during difficult times.  As one family shared, “Fisher House was our home when my husband was fighting for his life, and when he died, we were immediately given hope and comfort by TAPS – it felt like we always had the right people around us, and were never alone, no matter what we were facing.” 

TAPS and Fisher House also work closely to provide immediate comfort to surviving families coming through Dover Air Force Base during the difficult “dignified transfer” of remains from overseas.  Just as Fisher House gives families the physical home while they are at Dover, TAPS continues to hold the family close with compassionate care in the weeks, months and years to come.  The hand off is seamless, and families feel comfort throughout.

In a heroic effort to bring hundreds of families together to find hope and healing, comfort and care, resources and information, Fisher House’s Hero Miles program secures airline travel for those who have lost a loved one in the military to attend the annual TAPS National Survivor Seminar in Washington, DC and the TAPS National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar held in Colorado, Florida or California each year, and the Good Grief Camps that accompany each program.  Over the past five years, thousands of bereaved families who could never afford their air travel to these programs have been able to gather with their peers and find transformative healing at these intensive four-day events. 

The Fisher House Hero Miles program has also given emergency air travel to surviving family members not covered by government travel.  TAPS and Fisher House work hand in hand to come alongside the military casualty offices to provide resources when they are needed most.

Fisher House and TAPS are America’s partners in care.  We were the only pre-9/11 organizations recognized by the national Concert for Valor on Veterans Day in 2014.  Our organizations are also included in both the Secretary of Defense’s and Secretary of Veterans Affair’s Round Tables as thought leaders, and recognized as highly rated charities by Guidestar and Charity Navigator.  Sharing similar missions and philosophies, TAPS and Fisher House are a strong team for all those who have served and sacrificed. 

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