This weekend, more than 500 children who lost a Servicemember-parent will come together in Washington, D.C. at the 20th Annual TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar & Good Grief Camp. At the camp, these military kids will be paired one-on-one with mentors from across the country, many of whom are Veterans and Servicemembers themselves, and will meet other kids who have experienced a similar loss.

VA and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) are working together to ensure surviving family members are connected to their VA benefits. Benefits for survivors include the Marine Gunnery Sgt. John D. Fry scholarship, which provides Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits to children of Servicemembers who died in the line of duty after Sept. 10, 2001. This benefit includes full in-state tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, and a books and supplies stipend.

The Fry Scholarship is helping students like Ashlynne Haycock, the surviving daughter of Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Haycock who died while training to deploy in 2002 when she was only 10 years old. Ashlynne attended American University while using VA’s Fry Scholarship. In 2011, Ashlynne’s Air Force Veteran mother, Nichole, died by suicide. As she struggled with grief and continuing her education, Ashlynne worked with scholarship organizations that helped her access benefits and complete her education. Ashlynne was a TAPS Good Grief Camp participant and eventually became a mentor and volunteer. After graduation, she joined the TAPS team to help ensure that all surviving spouses and children are aware of and have access to all available benefits and services, including those she used to successfully finish her education.

As the senior advisor for Veterans employment at VA, I am excited to work with TAPS to continue to find ways to ensure better economic outcomes for our nation’s Veterans and their families. From 1944, when the original GI Bill was created by law, to today, VA education and training benefits continue to provide a key resource for Sevicemembers and Veterans transitioning from military service to the civilian workforce.

VA is working with partners and programs across the country to help us meet our goal of ensuring every Veteran and their family members have access to the full suite of benefits they have earned. For example, VA works with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on economic competitiveness summits – locally tailored events that will focus on training human resource professionals in 25 cities across the country to connect Veterans with employers.

A  new tool hiring managers can now use is the Veteran Employment Center on eBenefits, the authoritative source for connecting transitioning Servicemembers, Veterans and family members with public and private employers.

By working with non-profit organizations like TAPS, hosting economic competitiveness summits across the country, and launching new online employment tools, VA continues to connect separating Servicemembers, Veterans and their family members with rewarding careers. I hope you will help us spread the word about these important programs and benefits.

rosyebwfrRosye Cloud is the Senior Employment Advisor for the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Office of Economic Opportunity.

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Published on May. 23, 2014

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  1. Manasseh Hezekiah, M.Ed. May 25, 2014 at 2:44 am

    Aloha! Sir/Ma’am,

    I take my hat off to all my comrades and those bereaved family members. However, how about us, LIVING BEREAVED VETERANS AND OUR LIVING BEREAVED FAMILY MEMBERS whose living standards and health conditions continues to go down hill regardless of how hard we pray and work, study and try to do all the right things.
    A move from Honolulu, Hawaii to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, braving the tough weather since August 2013, was no small decision while still paying for storage in Hawaii?
    Now…What is “Head Count”?? who has to die or retire to create head count for a qualified manority Female Veteran with a Masters Degree with Military Leadership Skills and other credentials can get a foot in the door at the Sioux Falls VA-SD Heath Care System? even at the lowest level??
    One thing I will say about the staff here I have received better care here than I have at the VA in Hawaii and you can quote me on that. And here when people say…’Thank you for your service’ they truly mean it; regardless of your accent or skin color.. for that… I am willing to embrace the cold weather over the perfect weather in Hawaii provided I can get my foot in the door at the VA where I feel safe at home and valuable to others too. At the same time helping my family who have suffered with me since 2004.


    Manasseh Hezekiah, M.Ed., SSG(Ret), USAMa

  2. reformkalip May 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm


  3. Susan Hastings May 23, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    I have been trying for two months to get a response fro someone in VA to fill a position for a data entry clerk. I have completed all the paperwork online and have never received my log in information or any information on how to post a posting. I have a client that wants to hire a disabled veteran/veteran for a full time data entry position. Any assistance would be appreciated!

  4. melvin ollie May 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    thanks for all ur help Curtis Coy u ensured that i received the VRAP last year and im so thankful

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