JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY: U.S. MILITARY WIDOWS GO TO LONDON, BATH ON TAPS RETREAT

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TAPS retreat helps U.S. military widows step out of stresses, connect with others with similar losses
US military widows mark International Widows Day on June 23 with traditional high tea with the Royal Air Force Widows Association

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 12, 2014

ARLINGTON, Va. – Experiencing the death of a spouse who served in the Armed Forces is a devastating loss, but today’s military widows and fiancés don’t have to grieve alone – the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) offers care and support –including a special retreat just for military widows being held June 22-27, 2014 in the United Kingdom. 

A TAPS retreat gives military widows a safe place to talk about their challenges as they rebuild their lives, while connecting with others. It also helps them re-discover a sense of adventure and joy after what are often, many difficult months and years.  Being able to talk with others who have experienced a similar loss helps military widows and fiancés process their experiences, realize they are not alone and establish support networks.

Sunday, June 22 – London Eye, National Gallery, Trafalgar Square

Monday, June 23 – International Widows Day – walking tour of London and Westminster Abbey, traditional high tea at 3pm at the Royal Air Force Club

Tuesday, June 24 - TAPS Red/Nose Fun Run/Walk in the morning to honor fallen military service members, British Museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral (visit to the American War Dedication Wall), attend evening song at the cathedral

Wednesday, June 25 – Travel to Bath via train

Thursday, June 26 – Explore Bath, Natural Springs Spa, Roman Baths Museum

Friday, June 27 – Closing ceremony, Jane Austen Walking Tour & Museum

TAPS retreat attendees may be grieving deaths caused by combat in Iraq or Afghanistan, military training accidents, sudden illnesses, accidents while serving or suicide.On average, it takes 5-7 years for people experiencing the traumatic death of a loved one to reach a “new normal” but the impact of a military death lasts for a lifetime.

Military widows usually move after experiencing the death of their spouse. With the move comes secondary losses – the loss of a supportive community (military friends, faith community, co-workers) that was around the family before and at the time of the death, the loss of the last home lived in with the person who died, and the loss of a way of life and direction as a military family. The work of creating a new life after experiencing a military loss, often while caring for young children, can be emotionally draining and challenging. 

How TAPS Helps People Grieving the Death of a Spouse or Fiancé Serving in the Military
TAPS retreat programs are designed to help survivors connect with others with a similar loss and step out of their comfort zones while away from the stresses of daily responsibilities. Participants often re-discover their ability to laugh again while alongside others who have experienced a similar loss.

TAPS offers many other services and programs to help grieving widows and fiancés of our fallen troops.  The TAPS peer mentoring program pairs survivors with others who have experienced a similar loss who listen and support their grief journeys.

TAPS care groups offer localized in-person support while online support groups and chat sessions help survivors connect and share. Bereaved spouses and fiancés attend TAPS seminars, retreats and programs around the country for help and support. They receive the quarterly TAPS magazine and other grief resources. They can request casualty casework assistance, a bereavement resource report or get access to unlimited bereavement counseling. Career mentoring for women and financial education programs are also available. The TAPS resource and information helpline 1-800-959-TAPS (8277) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

About TAPS
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 50,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).

Media contacts: Ami Neiberger-Miller or James Hutton, 202.588.8277, ami@taps.org, james.hutton@taps.org

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