NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attended and spoke at the Inaugural Service Awards Program last week honoring the families of America’s fallen heroes. The event was hosted by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), the national nonprofit organization that cares for families of America’s fallen military heroes.
In her first appearance since the birth of her grandchild, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky, Secretary Clinton received the Lifetime Service Award in recognition of her support for the organization over the last decade.
“It’s … for me, emotional, as we celebrate the birth of our granddaughter, and as I look out and see all of you who are” changed by the loss of a relative in the military, Clinton said.
TAPS has “connected these grieving families with each other, and I’ve heard stories about how much that has meant — to have someone sitting with you, holding your hand, their arm around your shoulders, listening to your story, telling you their story. This kind of community of support and shared experience has really made all the difference in the lives of so many,” she said.
“There’s really no words that can ever be adequate to the loss that has been suffered,” Clinton said. “But having people just be there for you is really often what makes a difference between being able to get out of bed or not, being able to go on or not.”
Clinton previously served as TAPS honorary chairman, spoke at a TAPS luncheon, and spent time with surviving military families at TAPS events.
“We are here to honor Mark Grier of Prudential and Secretary Clinton, who have done so much for our families,” said Bonnie Carroll, military widow and founder of TAPS. “We want to share the incredible spirit here this evening. TAPS, in its 20th year, is about care and love and honor.”
During the event, the TAPS Corporate Engagement Award was presented to Mr. Mark Grier, vice chairman of Prudential Financial, Inc., for Prudential’s longstanding commitment to U.S. military veterans, active service members and their families. Mr. Grier also is a member of the TAPS board.
“It is an honor to be associated with this organization. TAPS has touched lives in ways no other organization would or could,” said Grier. “It's very special to Prudential which expresses its sense of higher purpose by supporting an organization like TAPS.”
Since 2011, Prudential has donated $2.2 million to assist TAPS programs and services for families of fallen military service members, including the TAPS National Military Survivor Helpline (1-800-959-TAPS (8277), which is answered 24-hours a day, 7-days a week by trained and caring staff.
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes. TAPS has offered support to more than 50,000 surviving family members and loved ones 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 the death of a loved one serving in the Armed Services. Services are provided free of charge. For more information, please visit www.taps.org or call the toll-free National Military Survivor Helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).