Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Inc. (TAPS)
A national non-profit organization made up of, and providing services to, those who have lost a loved one while serving in the Armed Forces. Their services are not limited to spouses and children and so can be a resource for all loved ones. The heart of TAPS is its national military survivor peer support network. TAPS also offers grief counseling referral, case worker assistance, and crisis information. Call TAPS at 1-800-959-TAPS (8277) or visit their website at www.taps.org.
Gold Star Wives
A Congressionally-chartered non-profit service organization. Gold Star Wives is unique in that it is the only service organization capable of providing services to the active duty and service-connected military widow. Call Gold Star Wives at 1-888-751-6350 or visit their website at www.goldstarwives.org.
American Gold Star Mothers
Natural mothers, adoptive mothers, or stepmothers, who are citizens or legal residents of the United States or of the territorial and insular possessions of the United States, and whose son or daughter has died while in the service of the United States of America Armed Forces, or as a result of such service, are eligible for membership in American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. You may call them at 202-265-0991 or visit their website at www.goldstarmoms.com.
Gold Star Dads of America
An online community bringing together Gold Star fathers to share their grief and support each other. Visit their website at www.goldstardads.org/.
Armed Forces Services Corporation (AFSC)
Renowned for its expertise in government and military survivor benefits and the survivorship services provided to its military members and families, AFSC has supported the military community for years. AFSC's staff are experts in survivor and retirement benefits and provide assistance in matters related to military benefits, Social Security, Veterans Affairs, and the military Survivor Benefit Plan, death gratuity, SGLI/VGLI, among others. Gift memberships are made possible for surviving spouses and minor children through grants from the specific Service aid societies. Their website is www.afsc-usa.com.
Military Sponsored Support Groups for Survivors
Some military installations and communities have established support groups for the families of survivors. Your casualty assistance officer should be aware if there are any on your installation or in your area.
A Survival Guide by Joanne M. Steen, MS, NCC and M. Regina Asaro, MS, RN, CT: a one-of-a-kind survival guide for military widows, their families and the military and civilian personnel who assist them. Currently, copies of this book are distributed to surviving spouses.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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