Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is a support group that welcomes those who are grieving the death of a military loved one regardless of the circumstances or relationship to the deceased. TAPS is a  Washington-based nonprofit that organizes grief care groups throughout the country. A newly formed TAPS group meets monthly at the Grief Resource Center. We are happy to introduce you to the amazing people that make this group happen: Joelle Floria and Joyce MacKinstry.

Joelle is stationed at Kirkland AFB in Albuquerque, NM. She is active in suicide awareness education and prevention work, and has been since she enlisted in the Air Force. This work is close to her heart.

She says, Human contact is so important. It’s crucial that you speak directly to someone you’re worried about. Through the resiliency program in the Air Force as a Resiliency Training Assistant, I’ve been able to talk about the  experiences I’ve had, which has  led to others opening up and getting help. This is what I was meant to do: bring the light and love to people and help them heal.

Joyce is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has worked with children, adolescents and adults. Currently she works at Presbyterian. Health Services.  A native of Connecticut, she visited New Mexico during a road trip and fell in love with the Southwest. Twenty-two years ago she made the move, met her husband, and started a new adventure in Albuquerque. Joyce desires to reach out to the military community to honor her brother who served in the Vietnam War. She began to think deeply about how the war had affected him, and wanted to understand the struggles of families and friends whose loved ones had experienced tragedy. Joyce helps others express their grief in the safety of the TAPS support group.