A picture of Representative Gerald E. Connolly
Gerald C.
Democrat VA 11

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  • Congratulating Bonnie Carroll on Receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom

    by Representative Gerald E. Connolly

    Posted on 2015-12-09

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    CONNOLLY of virginia in the house of representatives Wednesday, December 9, 2015 Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Bonnie Carroll on receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her life- long public service and dedication to veterans and their families.

    Bonnie is the Founder and President of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors [[Page E1744]] (TAPS). TAPS was founded in 1994 as the nation's first national support network for the families of fallen service members. Since then, TAPS has supported over 50,000 surviving family members, casualty officers, and caregivers. When President Obama said, of all of the November 24 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, that ``these men and women have enriched our lives and helped define our shared experience as Americans,'' he was referring in part to the 50,000 lives of surviving military family members that have been touched by Bonnie's work.

    TAPS has affected lives through a myriad of undertakings: a 24/7 helpline for those grieving the loss of a loved one, peer-based and community-oriented emotional support, casework assistance, informational resources, and the annual Good Grief Camp for young people. All of this work is offered at no cost for survivors.

    In addition to her service at the helm for TAPS, Bonnie is a retired Major in the Air Force Reserve and currently serves on the Defense Health Board and the Board of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She also co-chaired the Department of Defense Task Force on the Prevention of Suicide in the Armed Forces.

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in thanking Bonnie Carroll for the work she has done on behalf of veterans and their families. Her record of service is truly deserving of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her work serves as a reminder of our sacred compact with those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to this nation and their families.


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