The Impact of Military Loss
Jill LaMorie, DSW, LCSW and Bonnie Carroll
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

About the Webinar

Webinar presenter Jill LaMorie will be joined by special guest panelist Bonnie Carroll, founder of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and former ADEC Board member.

There are unique aspects to military death that likely impact family survivors, may pose distinctive risks or serve as protective factors through a survivor’s adaptation to loss. Professionals and care providers can benefit from a greater understanding of the circumstances surrounding military death and the culture in which families grieve.

Since September 11, 2001, there have been over 16,000 active duty status deaths in the U.S. military. In general, surviving military families are a poorly understood and understudied population. Our understanding of this population is principally anecdotal, often coming from observational reports and the first-person accounts of survivors. Given the youth of most deceased service members and the similarly young age of survivors, the sudden and sometimes violent circumstances of their death, as well as circumstantial factors unique to military death (including culture and communities) that may impose greater risk, there is an imminent need for research in this population and an understanding of these circumstantial factors to provide culturally competent care. Despite a lack of empirical evidence, professionals and care providers can benefit from a broad overview of what is known about military deaths in the past twelve years and about this unique population of bereaved survivors. 

The goal of this webinar is to provide participants a better understanding of the deceased and their families, factors that impact survivors, and clinical issues that are likely to arise in this population. Suggested resources for care will also be provided.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the presentation, the participant will be able to:

  1. Provide an overview of U.S. military death post-September 11, 2001.
  2. Identify unique characteristics of military death and describe potential complications in bereavement for surviving families.
  3. Become familiar with systems of support and explore the need for research to best support and understand this distinctive population of bereaved survivors.

About the Instructors

Jill LaMorieJill Harrington LaMorie, DSW, LCSW is currently the Senior Field Researcher/Clinician on a Congressionally directed medical research project, “The Impact of a Service Member’s Death: A National Study of Bereavement in Military Families” being conducted at Uniformed Services University of the Health Services Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. LaMorie is the former Director of Professional Education & Training at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Washington, D.C.

Dr. LaMorie received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., her Masters in Clinical Social Work from Adelphi University, Garden City, New York, and her Doctorate in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, Philadelphia, PA. Her doctoral studies focused on the impact of a service member’s death on military surviving families with the focus of her dissertation research exploring “Survivors of a Military Suicide Death: Exploring Distress and Postvention Peer Support.”

Dr. LaMorie has been an invited presenter on many occasions by the Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. military and several universities and nonprofit organizations to address military family bereavement. She is also one of the first academic authors on the subject. She has extensive clinical experience working with individuals and families affected by crisis, trauma, grief, loss, life transitions and terminal illness. Dr. LaMorie is a member of the National Association of Social Workers; American Association of Suicidology; and serves on the Board of the Association for Death Education and Counseling. She is a volunteer member of the TAPS Magazine Editorial Board, Peer Mentor Program, and remains as an active volunteer in the military-veteran family community.


Bonnie CarrollBonnie Carroll is the President and Founder of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (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. Ms. Carroll currently serves on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation, the Defense Health Board, and recently served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Death Education and Counseling, the Department of Defense (DOD) Military Family Readiness Council and the DOD Task Force on the Prevention of Suicide in the Armed Forces. She works with Iraqi and Afghan surviving families facing traumatic loss.

Ms. Carroll founded TAPS following the death of her husband, Brigadier General Tom Carroll, 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 Association for Death Education and Counseling. She has authored numerous articles on grief and trauma and appeared on CNN, FOX, NBC’s the Today Show and other programs speaking about military loss. Carroll is a Major in the Air Force Reserve, where she has served as Chief, Casualty Operations, HQ USAF. Ms. Carroll holds a degree in Public Administration and Political Science from American University and has completed Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Leadership Program on International Conflict Resolution.  She is also a graduate of several military service schools, including the USAF Logistics Officer Course, Squadron Officers School, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, Academy of Military Science (Distinguished Graduate), and USAF Basic Training (Honor Graduate).


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