Founder of national Veterans Service Organization honored with American Legion Auxiliary’s Public Spirit Award

  • WASHINGTON—2/25/13—The American Legion Auxiliary has awarded Bonnie Carroll, founder of TAPS – Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors – with its prestigious Public Spirit Award. Auxiliary National President Peggy Thomas presented the award at a special luncheon in Carroll’s honor Feb. 25 at the Auxiliary’s Washington DC Conference.

    Carroll is president and founder of TAPS, the national Veterans Service Organization providing peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources and information, casualty casework assistance and crisis intervention for all those affected by the death of a loved one serving in, or in support of, the armed forces.

    “What Bonnie has done for our military families is valuable beyond words. Rising out of her tragedy to create TAPS and support others in their grief is a true example of the essence of our mission, Service Not Self,” said Thomas.”

    Carroll founded TAPS following the death of her husband, Brig. Gen. Tom Carroll, who died in an Army C-12 plane crash in 1992. She is a trained Critical Incident Stress Debriefer, member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the American Association for Death Education and Counseling. She has authored numerous articles on grief and trauma and has appeared on CNN, FOX, NBC’s “Today Show” and other programs speaking about military loss. Carroll was featured in People magazine’s Heroes Among Us and received recognition as Washingtonian of the Year. She has also received the National Citizen for 2010 award from the Military Chaplains Association.

    Carroll is a major in the Air Force Reserve. Her last assignment was on the HQ USAF National Security and Emergency Preparedness staff in the Pentagon, and the USAF Directorate of Homeland Security. Prior to joining the Air Force Reserve, Carroll served 16 years in the Air National Guard as a Transportation Officer, Logistics Officer, and Executive Officer. She currently serves on the Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation, the Board of Directors of the Association of Death Education and Counseling, the Department of Defense (DoD) Military Family Readiness Council, and she recently co-chaired the DoD Task Force on the Prevention of Suicide in the armed forces.

    The American Legion Auxiliary’s Public Spirit Award, established in 1983, recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations for contributions that positively impact our communities, especially those efforts that benefit our military, veterans and their families.

    Previous recipients of the Public Spirit Award include Gen. Colin Powell (Ret.), Hillary Rodham Clinton, former President Ronald Reagan, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Ann Landers, and Miss America 2000 Heather Renee French.

    Founded in 1919, the American Legion Auxiliary is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. With a membership of nearly 800,000, local American Legion Auxiliary units have a strong presence in more than 9,000 communities nationwide. The American Legion Auxiliary’s mission to serve veterans, the military and their families is carried out through its hundreds of outreach programs delivered by its members, volunteers and National Headquarters.


    Contact: Stacy Poca, (317) 569-4565;


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"I couldn't believe I was chosen for a national award. The scholarship has helped me a lot with my college expenses..." - Dereck Neben, Children of Warriors Scholarship Recipient

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