Honor and duty can be strong but loss is painful. Read and listen to stories of others who understand.


  • Traumatic Loss in the Military

    October 7, 2015

    Military loss is a unique kind of loss, but many others have been in your shoes. Bonnie Carroll shares her experience with Dr. Gloria Horsley. Carroll is the founder of TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors in the military). According to her, military loss is a very different experience. There are different words in our […]

  • Summer Memories of my Father

    August 3, 2015

    Summer always comes with the memory of my father, Col. Billy F. Nunley’s funeral.  The funeral service was on July 2nd and that made the fireworks and military tributes of  July 4th a painful echo of the ceremony performed by the Air Force Honor Guard. The sky was a clear blue, the kind of day […]

  • Don Lipstein: Losing a Soldier Son to Suicide

    July 27, 2015

    In this episode of The Open to Hope Radio show, Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Don Lipstein, who is a Peer Mentor Support and Training Coordinator for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors of Military Loss (TAPS). Lipstein began working with TAPS in the summer of 2012, shortly after the suicide death of his […]

  • Helping Military Kids with Traumatic Death

    March 28, 2014

    Ordinary fears are a normal part of a child’s developmental growth, and children create internal and external mechanisms to cope with these fears. But a child’s ordinary fears can be transformed into very real survival fears in the face of severe trauma. After children experience the death of a parent, they often feel alone and […]

  • Supporting Military Families After Combat Death

    August 11, 2011

    The devastating loss of 30 military service members in Afghanistan has left more than 300 people grieving the death of someone they love. Many people, even if they do not personally know the families of those who died, want to know how to express their condolences and support the families left behind. Reaching out to […]

  • Hats Off to a World War II Vet

    May 29, 2011

    Yesterday was a wonderful day. While standing in line at the pharmacy, the gentleman behind me smiled. I don’t go to the CVS to make friends, but somehow yesterday I did. This older fellow’s smile, along with his vet’s hat, was engaging. He looked too young to have been in WWII so I asked him. […]

  • Heaven Bound

    May 6, 2011

    Heaven Bound   Year after year On your special day Mother’s Day I brought you flowers Gave you a hug and kiss Reminded you how special you were.   Every one of those years I knew you were grateful For my gifts and my love Yet, a sadness remained In your beautiful blue eyes It […]

  • How to Support Families Grieving After Fort Hood Tragedy

    November 9, 2009

    The horrific tragedy at Fort Hood has sent our nation into mourning, and many want to know how to express their condolences and support to the families left behind. Reaching out to express condolences is a natural and heartfelt reaction to tragedy.  TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, offers the following tips for those […]

  • Siblings of Military Casualties Offered Help

    October 26, 2009

    A sibling relationship should be a lifelong friendship, but for those losing a brother or sister who served in the military, the pain and sorrow can be overwhelming. Adult siblings left behind must contend with their own grief and shock, adjust to an altered family structure and assume new responsibilities. To help brothers and sisters […]

  • God Will Answer My Prayers

    October 21, 2009

    In 1968 my brother, Danny who was 19 years old was killed in Vietnam. At the time, I was 15 years old. His helicopter was shot down and according to eye witnesses exploded in mid-air and then landed on the banks of a river. Because of heavy, enemy ground fire his body was never recovered. […]

  • Alleged Killings by U.S. Soldier Remind Us of War’s Psychological Toll

    May 31, 2009

    By Dr. Norman Fried — The headlines of many U.S. newspapers this week report that five Americans are dead after a U.S. soldier opened fire at a U.S. base on Camp Liberty in Baghdad, where soldiers were receiving psychological treatment for the stresses of combat or from personal issues. The shooting causes all of us […]

  • Memorial Day: When You Lose a Sibling in War

    May 30, 2009

    A sibling relationship should be a lifelong friendship, but for those losing a brother or sister who served in the military, the pain and sorrow can be overwhelming. Adult siblings left behind must contend with their own grief and shock, adjust to an altered family structure and assume new responsibilities. To help brothers and sisters […]

  • The Everyday Hero

    May 25, 2009

    Today as we celebrate Memorial Day, honoring all of our brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day so we can continue to enjoy our daily freedoms, we remember that these people are everyday people who live in your neighborhood.   These are the people you see at the police […]

  • ‘Decorate Your Memory’ on Memorial Day

    May 25, 2009

    By Sharon Greenlee — When you see or hear Memorial Day, what are the first visuals and words that pop into your mind?? I see the cemetery, the funeral, my mother’s grave. I hear my grandmother’s mournful crying, and I see and hear all of this through the eyes of the ten-year old who experienced […]

  • Memorial Day Reminds Us to Work for Peace

    May 22, 2009

    By Pamela Prime — This Memorial Day is once again a significant and special day to remember our soldiers who have offered their lives for our well-being and the well-being of the world. As our soldiers continue to be sent to the Middle East and elsewhere, we must continue to support them with our love […]

  • Death, and Hope, in the Middle East

    May 18, 2009

    By Reg Green — When the doorbell rang in John Boria’s house in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, on August 31, 2004, and he saw three National Guard Air Force colonels standing there, his first thought was that they had come to the wrong address. The second, a moment later, came with sickening force.  “Has something happened […]

  • Vet Centers Offer Grief Counseling for Military Survivors

    April 27, 2009

    Bereavement counseling is assistance and support for people with emotional stress following the death of a loved one. It can include a broad range of transition services, including outreach, counseling, and referral services. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers bereavement counseling to parents, siblings, spouses, and children of Armed Forces personnel who died in service […]

  • Dealing with Media Attention After a Loved One Dies

    April 27, 2009

    For many surviving families who have lost a loved one in the military, our interactions with the media are interwoven with our experiences in the days immediately after our loved one dies. We encounter the reporters on our front porch, field phone calls from the Associated Press, and might even scan pictures to share. As […]

  • Dealing With Grief Over the Holidays: Practical Tips to Help

    April 27, 2009

    Holiday cheer and merrymaking may be everywhere at certain times of the year, but for thousands of Americans grieving the loss of a loved one, the holiday season can be an emotional minefield. And there’s no road map for easy navigation. “The holiday season can be particularly challenging for families who are grieving the recent […]

  • Supporting Children Dealing with Grief During the Holidays: Tips to Help

    April 27, 2009

    The holidays can be a magical time of year, but for children who have recently lost a parent, sibling, or another significant person in their lives, the holiday season can be an emotional minefield. It can also pose challenges for their still grieving surviving parents and other family members. “The holiday season can be particularly […]

  • Mother Seeking Help for Military Son With PTSD

    March 4, 2009

    Question from Stephanie: I am writing you in regards to my son, who was enlisted in the Army for 20+ years and at this time, he is dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the beginning, he was having bad dreams and would constantly “jerk” during the night. Currently, the dreams seem to be getting […]

  • Military Group Knows a Lot About Healthy Grieving

    December 30, 2008

    By Ami Neiberger-Miller —

  • Military Losses Often Complicated by War Coverage

    October 7, 2008

    By Stephanie Frogge —  Living in a country at war, it’s difficult to escape the media reports, the mind-numbing statistics, the opinions of politicians, even the views of our family and friends.  The issues that drive it and the images that make it real, even to those who do not have a loved one serving […]

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