Links to Resource Guides

TAPS provides comfort, care, and resources to all those grieving the death of a military loved one. Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope 24/7 through a national peer support network and connection to grief resources, all at no cost to surviving families and loved ones.

Hidden Heroes brings vital attention to the untold stories of military caregivers and seeks solutions for the tremendous challenges and long-term needs they face.

The Hidden Heroes resource page can be searched by keyword or by category:

  • Location
  • Crisis Area
  • Type of Help
  • Type of Wound
  • Era of Service
  • Military Branch
  • Language Support
  • People Supported
  • Community Support
  • Participation Fee
  • Education And Training
  • Spirituality And Faith
  • Respite Care And Recreation
  • Employment And Workplace Support

Organizations that Help Veterans and Families

Military OneSource

Confidential information, support, and counseling available free to military personnel (regardless of activation status) and their families.

DoD Deployment Health Clinical Center

Comprehensive source for information on post-deployment health concerns from the Deployment Health Clinical Center

Adjusting After Deployment

A comprehensive source of information and resources on post-deployment health concerns, including post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and substance use

Mental Health

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Mental health resources for military members, veterans, and families.

VA Mental Health Resources

Information on mental health issues, treatment, and recovery, including resources for families

Real Warriors Campaign

Resources on coping and reintegration for service members, veterans, and families

VA National Center for PTSD

Information on trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for veterans, general public, and family.

Make the Connection

Information on mental health, substance abuse, treatment, and how to connect to care

Post-Deployment Mental Health

A comprehensive source of information and resources on post-deployment health concerns, including post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and substance use

Addressing the Invisible Wounds of War

Educational materials, videos, stories, articles, and resources about the invisible wounds of war produced by the George W. Bush Center

PTSD Booklet

Information on PTSD symptoms, treatment, and coping provided by the National Institute of Mental Health

Depression Booklet

Information on depression causes, symptoms, treatment, and coping provided by the National Institute of Mental Health

Substance Abuse

American Addiction Centers

Information and resources related to addiction for veterans and military families

Deployment-Related Substance Use

A comprehensive source of information and resources on post-deployment health concerns, including post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and substance use

Make the Connection

Information on mental health substance abuse, treatment, and how to connect to care

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Information about treatment for substance abuse

VA Substance Abuse

Summary of treatment programs available at the VA for substance abuse problems

NIAAA Rethinking Drinking

Research-based information on drinking habits and how they relate to your health

Treatment for Alcohol Problems

Information from the NIH on the signs of alcohol problems and options for treatment

Brain Injury

A Head for the Future

Information and resources to help the military community prevent, recognize, and recover from traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Traumatic Brain Injury

Information about the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of TBI

Brain Line

Information and resources focused on the prevention and treatment of TBI.

Brain Injury Association of America

Organization focused on advancing treatment, prevention, and education on TBI.

VA TBI System of Care

Basic information on the treatment of TBI in the VA healthcare system

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

Comprehensive information and resources on TBI

Deployment-Related TBI

A comprehensive source of information and resources on post-deployment health concerns, including post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and substance use

Finding Help for Servicemembers, Veterans, and Their Families

Military OneSource

Confidential information, support, and counseling available free to military personnel (regardless of activation status) and their families.

Veterans Crisis Line

Confidential hotline for people in emotional distress or crisis or family and friends concerned about a loved one. Call 1-800-273-TALK (press 1 to reach VA hotline) or text 838255

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vet Centers

Confidential readjustment counseling service—over the phone and in-person—for combat veterans and their families.

My HealtheVet

Service for tracking personal health information and benefits through the VA.

VA Facilities Locator

Service for locating nearby VA service centers and offices.

Veteran Behavioral Health Treatment Locator

Service for locating veteran addiction treatment that uses modern location technology.

Coaching Into Care

Service for families and friends of veterans seeking to help motivate veterans to receive care.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration

Locator for mental health and substance abuse treatment

Warrior Care Network

Medical treatment for invisible wounds of war provided at no cost with free travel for warriors and family members to participate in academic medical centers

Cohen Veteran Network

A network that provides mental health care for veterans and families

Organizations That Support Veterans and Their Families with Invisible Wounds of War

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Organization dedicated to veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

National Military Family Association

Association that educates military personnel and their families about their rights, benefits, and available services

National Veterans Foundation

Operates a toll-free helpline and provides veterans and families in need with food, clothing, transportation, employment, and other resources. Call 1-888-777-4443.

Student Veterans of America

Organization made up of local chapters at some schools providing support to student veterans.

Disabled Veterans of America

Provides information on jobs, disability claims, and other resources for disabled and non-disabled veterans

Blue Star Families

Organization that provides free resources and services to military families

Code of Support Foundation

Organization that provides assistance and resources to veterans and their families

Quality of Life Foundation

Organization that provides services to families of wounded veterans

Warrior Wellness Alliance

An alliance of clinical providers and peer-based organizations designed to connect veterans and their families to high-quality care for PTSD and TBI.

Hidden Heroes

Resources for supporting military and veteran caregivers

Team Red, White, and Blue

Organization that offers community-based enrichment opportunities for veterans and their families

Travis Manion Foundation

Organization that focuses on empowering veterans and the families of fallen heroes.

The Mission Continues

Organization that connects veterans through service in their communities

Team Rubicon

Organization that connects veterans through service in their communities and beyond

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors

An organization that helps survivors heal from the loss of a military loved one.

Tips for Surviving Families as They Prepare for College

Tips from Sammi Hester, TAPS Educational Support Coordinator, and Ashlynne Haycock, TAPS Education Support Services Manager

There is Assistance for College Prep

Eknowledge provides free SAT and ACT prep for surviving families; all you have to pay is shipping. Folds of Honor offers the Children's Fund scholarship that pays for tutoring. Gratitude Initiative offers a comprehensive online college prep course. Children of Fallen Patriot Foundation will pay the SAT and ACT application fees and college application fees. They will even buy your child a computer before their freshman year of college.

Compare Schools Side by Side

The Department of Veterans Affairs launched the GI Bill comparison tool a few years back. It gives you a breakdown of how truly veteran-friendly a school is. It shows you how much the GI Bill pays at that school, how many students are using the GI Bill (this does include Fry), what the Basic Housing Allowance at the school will be, and it allows you to compare the schools your children are considering.

Always Apply for the FAFSA

Prospective and current college students file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before each academic year to determine their eligibility for federal student financial aid and is income/need-based. This is free money based on your income. For more information, please visit

Depending on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) listed on the FAFSA application, a student may receive up to $6,345 for the school year through the Federal Pell Grant, which is money provided by the government that does not have to be repaid, provided the student remains in college for the duration of the grant period. To learn more, please visit

If your child isn’t eligible for a Pell Grant, and your child’s parent died due to service in Iraq or Afghanistan, they may be eligible for an Iraq and Afghanistan Pell Grant. It’s the same amount as a regular Pell Grant and available to families who make too much to be eligible for the regular Pell Grant.

Another reason to fill out the FAFSA is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program is administered directly by the financial aid office at each participating school. Not all schools participate. Check with your school's financial aid office to find out if the school offers the FSEOG. A student may receive between $100 and $4,000 a year, depending on your financial need. To learn more, please visit

It costs nothing to fill out FAFSA; it only takes an hour of your time, and it could potentially provide additional free money for college tuition, room, and board, or books.

Start Applying for Scholarships Early

Just because kids can’t apply for VA education benefits until they’re 18 years old or have graduated from high school doesn’t mean they must wait to apply for scholarships. Scholarship season is from Jan. 1 to April 1. If you aren’t applying during that time, you are losing out on a lot of easy money. One of the biggest mistakes I see is parents contacting me the day their kid gets to campus asking what they need to do to pay for it. At that point, you’ve missed virtually every deadline. You’ve missed FAFSA money and all of the scholarship deadlines, and you may start seeing VA money around December if you are lucky.

Benefits from the Veterans Administration

Federal education benefits specifically related to your loved one's military service are offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and depend on line of duty or service connection determinations. Students who are 18-years-old or have graduated high school may complete and submit a VA Form 22-5490 - Dependents’ Application for VA Education Benefits in order to receive a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA.

The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, also known as the Fry Scholarship (which falls under Chapter 33 of the Forever GI Bill) is provided to surviving spouses and children of service members who died on active duty after September 11, 2001, and ruled in the Line of Duty by the VA. Eligible students receive up to 36 months of education benefits. The benefit does pay partial or full tuition payments to the school directly and the student will receive a basic allowance for housing (BAH - which is equal to an E-5 with dependents pay grade in the zip code of the school), which is $2,535 for Georgetown. Eligible students also receive a book stipend of $1,000 per year (half each fall and spring semester). Spouses do not have a time limit to utilize the Fry Scholarship, but lose eligibility if/when they remarry. Surviving children must utilize the Fry Scholarship prior to reaching the age of 33, if the service member died between September 11, 2001, and January 1, 2013; otherwise, their eligibility does not expire. Current Fry Scholarship rates and information may be found at

Additionally, if an eligible Fry Scholarship recipient enrolls at a private university, the student may also be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon program. The Yellow Ribbon program provides additional tuition and fee assistance. For more information, please visit

The Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) (falls under Chapter 35) program offers surviving spouses and children of those who died in the line of duty or from a service-connected injury or illness a $1,248 educational benefit for 36 months. Children must utilize the DEA benefit prior to the age of 26. A spouse must utilize the DEA benefit within 20 years of the date of death if the loved one died on active duty, or within 10 years of the date of death if the loved one was a veteran or retiree. To learn more, please visit

An important fact to note when determining education benefits, most eligible spouses and children do have to make an irrevocable election as to which VA education benefit will be utilized, whether it be the Fry Scholarship or the DEA benefit. Most will choose to receive the larger of the two benefits, which is often the Fry Scholarship in most cases.

Eligible surviving children whose parent died before August 1, 2011, may utilize both the Fry Scholarship and the DEA benefit, but cannot use the benefits concurrently.

Try to Spread Benefits Out

Forty-six states offer tuition waivers to surviving family members. Some states offer tuition waivers to veterans. Save your VA education benefits for graduate school and use a state tuition waiver for undergraduate. There are so many combinations of benefits, and it’s different for everyone. TAPS Education Services can help you and your children create a comprehensive benefit plan to pay for all of their educational goals.

So, what do you do now?

Start by checking out the TAPS Education Portal to give you an idea of just how much you are eligible for. You can also connect with a TAPS Education Services Coordinator who will go through the process with you and help you better understand what you may be eligible for or create a benefit plan. Email or call 800-959-TAPS (8277) and ask for Education Services. In the past four years, the Education Services department has assisted more than 2,500 survivors in accessing $170 million in education benefits.

Finally, TAPS also recommends that military survivors meet (in-person, if possible) with the school Financial Aid Officer and Veteran/School Certifying Official to discuss all possible options for merit or need-based funding and grants that may be made available.

Scholarships for Children, Spouses, and Service Members

The American Legion Legacy Scholarship is available to children of post-9/11 service members who died or who have a combined disability rating of 50% from the V.A. This scholarship is need-based and provides up to $20,000 in aid for undergraduate or post-graduate college. Recipients may reapply for additional annual awards up to six times. To learn more, please visit

American Legion Auxiliary provides the Children of Warriors National Presidents' Scholarship, which awards $5,000 to children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of veterans who served in the Armed Forces during eligibility dates for membership in The American Legion. These scholarships are for undergraduate study only at a four-year accredited college or university and may be used for tuition, books, fees, room, and board. To learn more, please visit

AMVETS awards $1,000 annually each year for four years to six students who are the children or grandchildren of veterans, active duty, Guard/Reserve members, and are high school seniors. For more information, please visit

The Ankin Law Office Annual Scholarship for Military Veterans recognizes the sacrifice our veterans and their families have made for our country. Scholarships of $1,000 each are offered to military veterans and their immediate family members. For more information, please visit:

A Million Thanks provides scholarships and grants to children of service members who lost their lives on or after October 7, 2001, while on active duty. For more information, please visit

The Army Aviation Association of America (QuadA) provides financial assistance for college-level QuadA members, spouses, unmarried siblings, children, and grandchildren. To learn more, please visit

The Army Emergency Relief MG Ursano Scholarship Program is a need-based scholarship program established to assist children of Army Soldiers in obtaining their first undergraduate degree. Applicants must reapply each year and may receive assistance for up to four academic years. Scholarship awards range from $500 to $3,400. For more information, please visit

The Army Scholarship Foundation awards one-year financial scholarships annually to qualified and deserving students ranging from $500 to $2000. Scholarship recipients may apply to renew their scholarships annually for a total of four years of higher education. Applicant must be a child of a former U.S. Army member who received an honorable discharge, medical discharge, or was killed while serving. To learn more, please visit

The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) awards SMA Leon Van Autreve Scholarships to provide educational support to soldiers and their family members who have dedicated themselves to serving the nation and pursuing self-improvement. A total of eight scholarships awarded broken down as follows: one $25,000, one $10,000, one $5,000, and five $2,000. To learn more, please visit

Bachus and Schanker LLC offers students the opportunity to apply for one of the $2000 semiannual scholarships to be paid toward tuition for the upcoming semester. To learn more, please visit

The Barber Family Foundation helps the eligible children of Active Duty, Gold Star Families, and Retired Military Service Members achieve their dream of a college education by awarding scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 to defray the cost of tuition, books, and other fees associated with attending college. For more information, please visit

The Bonsai Finance Veteran's Scholarship celebrates veteran and dependent students who strive for excellence in their lives. The scholarship provides a one-time payment of $1,000 for current or future education costs. For more information, please visit

The Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation provides college scholarships and educational counseling to the children of military personnel or veterans with a service-connected death to bridge the gap in funding between available sources of education benefits and scholarships and the college's total cost. At this time, there is an annual cap of $6,250 per student. To learn more, please visit

Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law, a personal injury lawyer located in Biloxi, Mississippi, offers a once-yearly $1,000 scholarship to students who are currently attending or plan to attend their first year of college or graduate school in the upcoming fall or spring semester. To learn more, please visit

The Fisher House Foundation Scholarships for Military Children program awards a $2,000 scholarship to 500 students, one from each commissary location where qualified applications are received. Additionally, the Heroes' Legacy Scholarship Program offers up to $5,000 to dependent unmarried children under the age of 23 of servicemembers who died or became permanently and totally disabled through their active military service after September 11, 2001. For more information, please visit and

Folds of Honor Higher Education Scholarship is a need-based scholarship of up to $5,000 per academic year for dependents of our nation's fallen in pursuit of a first bachelor's degree or certification at a post-secondary institution. Applicants may reapply each year they are interested in receiving funds for up to 4 academic years. To learn more, please visit

Gold Star Peak offers the Remembrance Scholarship Fund to gold star family members to honor all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. To learn more, please visit

The James "Rhio" O'Connor Memorial Scholarship Fund awards $1,000 to undergraduate students in the U.S. who write an essay about what they would do if faced with a terminal diagnosis. To learn more, please visit

Keller Law Offices Annual Scholarship for Military Veterans offers a $1,000 scholarship to a military veteran or immediate family member to help him/her receive the training needed for their chosen civilian career. For more information, please visit

The Law Offices of Steinberg, Goodman, and Kalish Annual Military Scholarship offers a $1,000 scholarship to military veterans of the United States Armed Forces and immediate family members earning credits toward a degree. For more information, please visit

Let Grow awards $5,000 to 1st place, and three $1,000 awards to runner up through the Think for Yourself scholarship. To learn more, please visit

The Life Lessons Scholarship provides up to $15,000 to children who have lost a parent or guardian. For more information, please visit

The Major Lucas Gruenther Legacy Foundation offers the Pursue Your Passion Educational Scholarship of $2,222.22 to an American who emulates Luc's spirit and tenacity for life while advancing themselves and benefiting the community. Additionally, they also offer the Family Member of a Fallen Hero Scholarship, which provides $4,444.44 to an individual who has lost a family member who served in our country's Armed Forces. For more information, please visit

McMath Woods P.A. is a personal injury law firm in Little Rock, Arkansas that wants to help people get their degrees so they can go on to find a fulfilling career by providing a $1,000 scholarship. For more information, please visit

ADS, Inc. funds the MGBF Scholarship, which awards scholarships to dependents of U.S. military, law enforcement, and first responders who have fallen, been injured, or missing in action in the line of service. For more information, please visit

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) established the American Patriot Scholarship to help children of uniformed service personnel (officers and enlisted) who died while in active service as a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves. Each applicant awarded assistance may receive funding for up to five years of undergraduate study at an accredited two or four-year college or university at a minimum rate of $2,500. To learn more, please visit

The Military Order of the Purple Heart awards approximately $2,500 to the biological, adopted, or step, or grandchild of a Purple Heart recipient and member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Foundation. For more information, please visit

The No Angel Left Behind Scholarship awards the dependents of service members who have lost their lives a scholarship of up to $5,000 annually for a maximum of $20,000 over four years to eligible graduating high school seniors. Students must use funds for fees, room and board, and books. For more information, please visit

The Scott Davis Educational Scholarship is open to anyone who will enroll in a college, graduate school, trade school, workforce-development program, certificate program, or similar organization or program and awards $1,250. For more information, please visit

Veterans United Foundation creates opportunities for family members of service members and veterans with a service-related death or 100 percent service-connected disability to achieve their educational dreams by awarding ten one-time scholarships for up to $50,000. To learn more, please visit Again, you will want to connect with the private scholarship organizations directly to confirm eligibility and the application process, as well as deadlines. However, should you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via e-mail or the toll-free number below.