FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 14, 2014
ARLINGTON, Va. - TAPS families and the nation’s veterans mourn the loss of Steve Robinson.
“We are deeply saddened by the sudden death of Steve Robinson,” said TAPS Founder and President Bonnie Carroll. “Steve transformed care for our service members and our veterans, just as he was passionate about honoring and caring for the families of our fallen.”
Steve was a part of TAPS from its early years.
“Steve found TAPS long before there was a 9/11, while TAPS was involved in the efforts to care for families grieving the deaths of veterans who succumbed to Gulf War illnesses,” said Carroll. “From that time, he pledged to always remember all those who serve and die, by caring for the loved ones left behind.”
As we mourn the passing of this American hero, our hearts are with his family and all whose lives he touched.
“Over the past 15 years, Steve has been a tireless advocate and supporter of TAPS and our work with grieving military families, particularly our programs to prevent suicide,” said Carroll. “Steve listened to thousands of surviving families of a suicide death and gave voice to their pain by incorporating the lessons learned into prevention efforts, saving countless lives.”
“Steve was passionate about the front line services TAPS provides and engaged Prudential Financial in partnering with TAPS to support the National Military Survivor Helpline,” said Carroll. Answered live 24 hours a day by peer professionals, the TAPS National Military Survivor Helpline, at 800-959-TAPS, provides critically needed support to bereaved military families.
“Over Memorial Day weekend, Steve was with over 2,000 surviving families at the 20th Annual TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar, standing among those grieving, offering his strength, comfort and care,” said Carroll. “Steve was a quiet hero, mentoring leaders across industry, government and philanthropy to craft programs that would effectively meet the mission.”
Steve’s work will not be forgotten.
“Steve’s wife, Patti, and his brother, Ken, are in our hearts always, and we will continue Steve’s work through the STEVE ROBINSON HEROES LEGACY FUND, which will support suicide postvention and prevention efforts, the National Military Survivor Helpline, and TAPS camps for grieving military children,” said Carroll.
Steve fully recognized the need for focusing government and community resources on the nation’s veterans and their families.
In an interview with famed international author and physician Deepak Chopra, Steve stated, "It's a huge population and they need all the tools they can get to help them reengage with society. I'm concerned we're not doing enough."
In a moving tribute to Steve following his passing, his brother Ken Robinson remembered the tremendous effort Steve gave to help veterans and families.
“He made a commitment and swore a life-oath to make sure those without a voice would have their needs heard in the halls of power,” he wrote.
Robinson also served on the board of directors for USO Metro Washington and as a military and veteran advisor for the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and as a member of the board of advisers for the Call of Duty Endowment.
He was a retired Army non-commissioned officer with twenty years of service (1981 to 2001) in conventional and Special Operations assignments including: 1/75th Ranger Battalion, 24th Infantry Division, 1/10th Special Forces, 8th Infantry Division, Ranger Instructor, 6th Ranger Training Brigade, Long Range Surveillance Detachment Team Leader in Korea, ROTC Instructor, and finally in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a briefer and analyst on health effects which arose out of the 1991 Persian Gulf war.
After retiring in October 2001 from the military, Robinson became an advocate for veterans and their families, working with several nonprofits to support policies that assist service members and their families. He served on the Department of Veterans Affairs Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses and was a special advisor on chemical and biological weapons exposures to Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans.
As a subject matter expert, Robinson testified numerous times before the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on matters pertaining to suicide, post-traumatic stress, mental health and the resiliency of the Armed Forces.
Steve Robinson led the way, and his impact will be felt for generations to come. His legacy will be the transformation of care for all those who serve and their families.
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).