Support for Grieving a Military Loss

Supporting a Griever / Supporting a Griever : Litsa Williams

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This Memorial Day we take time to remember the thousands of families who have lost loved ones who were serving their country.  Our gratitude for their service and sacrifice seems impossible to put in words.

Last year we took some time to reflect on putting the 'memorial' back in Memorial Day.  This year we wanted to take some time to highlight the resources that are available to those who are grieving a military loss.  Below are some great organizations and services that are available, but I am sure there are plenty more we aren't aware of.  Leave a comment to let us know what we have missed!


TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, provides support to anyone who is grieving the death of someone who died while serving in the military.  The provide a survivor resource kit, peer support, articles, and caseworkers who can assist with benefits.

Gold Star Wives

The Gold Star Wives is an organization for the widows of those who died in military service, or who died of disabilities related to their military service.  Their organization works to honor the memory of those who died in service, to provide services to the children of those who died in military service, and to help people to carry forward with a positive attitude after a loss.

Gold Star Family Support

This program was started to provide support for military parents and other family grieving the loss of someone who died in military service.  The provide private, closed forums for family members and can be accessed here.

american widow projectAmerican Widow Project

The American Widow Project provides peer-based support to widows of those who died during military service.  The have a hotline, web resources, and a DVD documentary.  The also provide an array of e-courses as support for military widows.

Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors

The VA provides services for military survivors.  Information can be found here about burial benefits, survivor benefits, healthcare benefits for surviving dependents, and VA life insurance benefits.

Army Survivor Outreach Services

This program provides coordinators and financial counselors to any Army survivors, "regardless of your loved one’s Army component, duty status, location, or manner of death".  These services are provided indefinitely and can be accessed by any family member in need of outreach and support.

Know of other great resources for those grieving a military loss?  Leave a comment to let us know!  Want to get other great resource straight to your inbox?  Subscribe to get our posts straight to your email!

We wrote a book!

After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief
for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible,
real-life book!

After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible, real-life book!

What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss is for people experiencing any type of loss. This book discusses some of the most common grief experiences and breaks down psychological concepts to help you understand your thoughts and emotions. It also shares useful coping tools, and helps the reader reflect on their unique relationship with grief and loss.

You can find What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss wherever you buy books:

Let’s be grief friends.

We post a new article to What’s Your Grief about once a week. Subscribe to stay up to date on all our posts.

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2 Comments on "Support for Grieving a Military Loss"

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  1. Vicki B  November 30, 2015 at 5:08 am Reply

    I don’t know where you found all this information saying “any family member” could get services in this matter.
    Almost nothing I looked for in the Army’s programs of help that they have for this had anything to say about siblings getting support through their services after losing a soldier. All of it was geared toward mothers, fathers, wives and children. I was simply furious wondering what the hell they expected ME to do if my brother died from his wounds.
    I was so angry about it that I’m still upset about it today. A little anyway.
    If you ask me the U.S Army, besides making your brother keep secrets from you when he never used to before they got ahold of him, cut all his hair off, made a man out of him and then made him erect a wall of secrets between me and him that cut him off from me for good, doesn’t think much of siblings being considered part of the main family unit. Also, if he didn’t list you as the Emergency Contact then you get stuck needing to communicate with the person he DID choose, which is a woman I’ve never gotten along with (neither has anyone else gotten on well with her) and someone I’d avoid like the plague if he hadn’t named her as EC.
    He was at Ft. Hood when that stupid doctor shot 31 people and killed 13 of them. I called on the morning of November 5 after having a really disturbing dream that to this day I have no way of explaining other than that I reacted to it by calling and asking if my brother was one of the wounded, but they couldn’t tell me since I WASN’T the Emergency Contact. I knew right then that it was our Aunt Rosemary, which is the only reason I contacted her at all. He was; I have no relationship with her but I wanted to know if he was one of the ones injured or dead. He wasn’t, but the “doctor” who did the shooting did the examination of my brother before deciding to deem him “mentally fit enough to go to battle.”
    That makes me angry too but whatever. He didn’t have any business giving a “professional opinion” of a dog or cat’s mental sanity. But he sent my brother and countless other soldiers into battle before going on a shooting spree a few years later and wounding over 44 people, killing 13 of them.

  2. Andy  June 29, 2014 at 7:58 pm Reply

    Thanks for posting this!

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