UPDATED: SECAF nominee thanked for helping fallen troops' families

Deborah Lee James with Bonnie Carroll (right) and John Wood (left) of TAPS. Photo courtesy of TAPS.

Deborah Lee James with Bonnie Carroll (right) and John Wood (left) of TAPS. Photo courtesy of TAPS.

A well respected advocacy group for the families of service members who have died thanked Air Force Secretary nominee Deborah Lee James on Tuesday for her support.

James is a board member of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, which was founded by Bonnie Carroll, whose husband Army Brig. Gen. Tom Carroll was killed in a military plane crash in 1992. James met with Carroll and other board members Tuesday at the group’s headquarters in Arlington, Va.

“As a woman who serves in the Air Force Reserve, I was delighted to see long-time friend and TAPS supporter Deborah Lee James, nominated by the President to be the next Air Force secretary,” Carroll said in a statement on Tuesday. “I have worked with Ms. James on a variety of projects with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to assist families of our fallen troops. Ms. James has always been a hands-on and capable leader. She brings exemplary organizational skills, a deep knowledge of military culture, and a passionate work ethic to our community.”

At TAPS’ annual fundraising gala in May, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said TAPS embodies “everything that is good about the military family and the way we continue to care for each other.”


In a statement provided to Air Force Times, James praised Carroll and TAPS for working tirelessly on behalf of the families of fallen service members.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed our partnership through TAPS,” James said.  “If I am confirmed as the next secretary of the Air Force, I will continue to advocate for assistance programs like TAPS.  Our service members and their families deserve it.”



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