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TAPS help Pendleton families of fallen heroes cope

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) held a support seminar for families coping with the loss of a fallen service member at Camp Pendleton’s South Mesa Club, March 13.

More than 200 friends and family members participated in the session, which began with a TAPS introduction meeting that explained the program’s mission.

According to the TAPS’ Web site, the organization is a non profit group that provides ongoing emotional help and healing to all who are grieving the death of a loved one in military service. Support is given regardless of the participants’ relationship to the deceased, geography of those in need, or circumstance of the family member’s death.

Its mission is met by providing peer-based support, crisis care, casualty casework assistance, and grief and trauma resources.

“TAPS plans to continue supporting Camp Pendleton with sessions twice a year,” said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS director and program participant.

During the program’s base visit, adults participated in the Survivor Seminar and the children and teens partook in the Good Grief Camp.

The Survivor Seminar is a group therapy session that allows participants to express their grief and offer helpful grieving tips amongst one another.

“There are no words to explain how helpful [TAPS] is during this difficult time,” said Brandy Zamora, the wife of a fallen service member. “Putting my children through the camp lets them interact with children experiencing the same hardships and gives them the opportunity to obtain new coping strategies.”

To conclude the event, children released balloons, filled with messages to their fallen loved ones, into the sky.

For more information about TAPS or if interested in attending the next event on base visit

http://www.taps.org.

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