Since September 11, 2001, the United States Armed Forces have deployed thousands of Indiana Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines in support of overseas contingency operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations. You know all too well that many of our brave Service Members did not return from their deployments.
Our Indiana TAPS Program “Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors” began in 2008 after a spouse of one of our fallen Heroes spoke passionately about attending such an event in Washington, D.C. She described how this program allowed her and her children to connect with other military families experiencing the loss of their loved ones, and suggested we consider such an event for our Indiana families who have lost a loved one in service to their country. Indiana National Guard has been honored to host this program for the past five years.
As a result of these past Survivor weekend retreats, we have received feedback from the families that have attended. Although the TAPS program partnership has been a much needed and rewarding experience, we recognize that it is time for something new and different. Our Indiana Survivor Outreach Services Team along with a partner of ours, Military Family Research Institute (MFRI), conducted a nationwide survey and program research and found a partner out of UCLA that has allowed us to customize a weekend that we feel will be a great experience encompassing of all family members and youth.
2013 marked our first Annual STARR weekend here in Indiana, to which we hope to add many more with our Survivors! We hope to see you at our next STARR weekend!