Military Life Resources Family & MilSpouse

What is the Tragedy Assistance Program?

The Tragedy Assistance Program (TAPs) has assisted the survivors of the fallen since 1994.
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Tragedy Assistance Program

Bonnie Carroll, founder of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, hosts the TAPS Grand Banquet during the 27th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp in Washington D.C., May 29, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Mark A. Morales)

The Tragedy Assistance Program (TAPs) has assisted the survivors of the fallen since 1994. Its main mission is to help those grieving the loss of a service member via programming, advocating, and support.

TAP understands that grief doesn’t happen on a 9 to 5 schedule. That’s why it operates a 24/7 toll-free helpline for those in need of support. Its programs and services include training sessions on trauma and grief, suicide prevention, and education benefits.

An Advocate for Survivors

TAPs is here to support you through your loss regardless of the cause of death. It pushes for improvements at those federal agencies that service military families, such as the Department of Education, Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense. The program is also geared toward writing legislation to support the families of fallen service members and veterans.

Toxic Exposure

When service members suffer exposure to toxic chemicals in the line of duty, it can have long-term effects for them and their families. When a service member dies as a result of an exposure, it can be devastating. Fortunately, TAPs succeeded in its effort to pass the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxic Act. The bill will allow service members exposed to toxins in the line of duty to have lifetime veteran health care benefits.

More Mental Health Coverage

TAPS has been working to get a mental health bill passed to assist military personnel. The Expanding the Access to Mental Health Services Act will help get counseling to the families of veteran suicide victims.

Special Programs

Tragedy Assistance Program event
U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, participates at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) annual Good Grief Camp in Crystal City, Va., May 24, 2013. (DoD photo by D. Myles Cullen/Released)

Online Seminars

In some ways, the internet has brought us closer together. TAPs now offers only seminars so that you can log on from anywhere, build community, and work through your grief.


Building networks is vital not just in work but also in grief. Mentors are those who have lost loved ones at least 18 months prior to joining this program. They have volunteered to assist you in any way they can as you process your loss.

Sports, Entertainment and Recreation

Processing the pain of your loss is healthy. But sometimes fun and laughter are great medicines. TAPs connects families with professional sports programs to keep everyone active and involved in recreation with other survivors.

No one wants to experience loss. However, if tragedy strikes, TAPs has great resources to utilize. When you lose loved ones who have served in the U.S. military, know that there are resources available to help you through your grief.

Read more about how one Marine veteran is advocating for holistic healing. Here’s how a milspouse has turned her grief into action.