TAPS Offers Support, Resources for Kids Grieving the Loss of a Military Parent
Over Memorial Day weekend this year, 70 Booz Allen Hamilton employees volunteered their time to help out with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)’ National Military Survivor Seminar and National Field Day USA, held in Washington, DC. TAPS’ mission is to offer compassionate care to those grieving the loss of a military loved one through a national peer support network and access to grief resources. The non-profit’s Youth Programs, including the seminar and camp held this Memorial Day, provide safe spaces for children who have lost a military parent or sibling to explore grief and embrace healing.
At this year’s event, kids learned coping skills through games, crafts and other activities in a fun and supportive environment. Each child was paired with a military mentor who serves as a “big brother/big sister” who not only helps them through coping with grief exercises but also provides friendship and support to honor the commitments members of the Armed Forces and their families make toward lifelong service as part of the military community. Booz Allen Vice President Aaron Burciaga has volunteered with TAPS for 9 years in a variety of roles. This year, he led a group of 17 young survivors and the mentors they were paired with in four days of activities and grief work that included a trip to the National Mall.
Aaron says, “My volunteer work with TAPS is one of the best, most meaningful things in my world. I am grateful that Booz Allen is also involved with the important work of this nonprofit. There are more than 5,000 Gold Star kids around the country who are grieving the death of a parent, sibling or close relative. It’s an honor and moral obligation to support a national asset like TAPS that allows us to come together each year at the Good Grief Camp to serve each other, grieve together, and grow in healthy ways.”
Learn more about how Booz Allen supports active military, veterans, and families here: https://www.boozallen.com/about/diversity-and-inclusion/veterans-and-military-families.html.