Survivor Link - Issue 4 - March 2022

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March 2022

The Survivor Link: Issue 4

     The Survivor Link is the Army Survivor Outreach Services Newsletter. This newsletter is published on a quarterly basis to provide information about benefits changes, program updates, opportunities to connect with other survivors, and to stay linked to the Army.

      Army Survivors can subscribe to The Survivor Link at any time. To subscribe just follow the link in this newsletter. You can choose to have the Survivor Link delivered to your email address or as a text message to your cell phone.

      When you subscribe you will be asked a few questions. Please complete your first name, the component of your Soldier (Regular Active Army, US Army National Guard or US Army Reserve), your relationship to the Soldier (spouse, child, parent, staff or other), and your State of residence.

Army Leader Message

Director, Quality of Life Task Force



Army Leader Message

SOS Staff Locator

Did you know that the Army has more than 150 Survivor Outreach Service Coordinators ready to assist Surviving Families who are having problems with benefits such as the Survivor Benefit Plan, TRICARE, or education benefits? 


Click on the map to use the SOS Coordinator Locator and find the coordinator nearest to your home. 

A Survivor's Story

In 2017 SGT Daniel Johnson took his life and in doing so forever changed the lives of those around. He left his wife, daughter, parents and many others to wonder how to move forward when there was a huge hole in their lives.

CSM (Ret) Dana Johnson, SGT Johnson’s father, found his way forward by doing what a retired NCO does best. He is taking care of Soldiers. Mr. Johnson has channeled the questions, the anger, the grief into a mission to help other Soldiers. He spends time speaking with groups of Soldiers about suicide and how to get help. You can hear more about Daniel's Story here.

But as the Army and other organizations struggle to find a way to combat the invisible enemy that pushes our Soldiers to suicide, there are others fighting to care for those of you who lost your Soldier to the invisible wounds.

When Mr. Johnson was asked if there was one thing that he could tell other families he thought for a minute and then shared a simple message. “It is not your fault.” Five short words with a powerful message. There are a thousand what ifs that come after the loss of any loved one and you can tear yourself apart trying to find an answer but there is none. So know that you could not change what happened, you cannot see the enemy that you Soldier faced but the enemy was there all the same.

So hold up your head and know that your Soldier was courageous. First in choosing to be one of the small number of brave Americans willing to serve in our Army and then in battling an enemy unseen. So now it is your turn to be courageous. 


If you are dealing with the aftermath of a suicide, you may be experiencing a wide range of complex emotions and may need to learn new ways of caring for yourself and others. The following course was developed by the Department of Defense to provide compassionate support and helpful guidance to those affected by a death by suicide. It covers communication techniques, ways to connect to or stay connected to a support system, and reminders for how to maintain your physical and mental health during this difficult time.  

After a Suicide eLearning Course

Additional resources:

Tools for Parenting After Suicide 

Military Crisis Hotline Click, call 1-800-273-8255 and Press Option 1 or Text 838255. 

If you have a non-military family member or friend in need the Military Crisis Hotline is part of the National Suicide Hotline and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

National Suicide Hotline Click or call 1-800-273-8255


This tax season, start with MilTax from Military OneSource and the Department of Defense. MilTax free tax services include tax prep and e-filing software and personalized support that address the realities of military life – deployments, combat and training pay, housing and rentals, multistate filings, living OCONUS and more. Please see the website for more details and eligibility.

MILTAX Services

Bereavement Camps


If you are seeking opportunities to connect with other Survivors, Military OneSource has compiled a short list of bereavement camps. For additional events contact your SOS Coordinator to find out more about what is going on in your area.


Military OneSource: Bereavement Camps

Chaplain's Corner

Click here to read this month's message from the Office of the Army Chief of Chaplains. 


Find Army Chaplains on Facebook and Twitter at:


Online Survivor Benefit Report (OSBR) Updates

In February 2021, updates to the OSBR were made to make the report easier to read. You will now find a new graph that depicts the changes in monetary benefits over time, additional explanations of benefits, which benefits are taxable and other information to assist beneficiaries in knowing what benefits are today and what they will look like as your family goes through changes over time. Army SOS recommends that all beneficiaries review their OSBR annually. If you need assistance accessing your OSBR you can contact the FAST Team by calling 877-827-2471 or emailing

Click on the report to access the OSBR web site.


Get outside and visit the National Parks

Spring is quickly coming and it is a great time to take advantage of free entrance to the National Parks for Veterans and Gold Star Families. Gold Star Families and US military veterans are eligible to receive free lifetime access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests. The free Military Pass is a way to thank America’s veterans, Gold Star Families, and current military and their dependents for their support of our country and to encourage them to explore recreational opportunities on their public lands and waters. For details on how to obtain a pass go to Free Entrance to National Parks

Ringing Telephone

Dial and Dine: Financial Considerations Call for Military Survivors

Hosted by the Ft. Leonard Wood SOS Financial Counselor

What: These calls, held at least quarterly, provide a forum for Military Survivors and friends to ask questions on education tools and to better understand identity theft minimization, saving and investing, estate planning considerations, tax issues, insurance, potential financial resources and budgeting concerns in creating financial success and hear from various guest presenters and other peers.   

The January call will focus on Financial and Estate planning considerations especially for Military Spouses and their families and will include a review of the resources available for assistance for assistance for tax preparation support, information on home real estate property tax abatement, where applicable, financial and estate planning considerations in light of legislative changes, review of military preference points for Federal employment , the upcoming SBP changes, camps available for Military Survivor families,  and have an expanded dialog on  specific potential education scholarship resources, including programs and initiatives various 501c3 groups are planning for 2022 and 2023.

Where: The Call number is (1-605-475-5910; Access Code 7681905#)

When:  The next live call is Wednesday, April 20, 2022 7:00 pm Central


Click here to find more resources on the DCS, G-9 SOS Webpage


Is there a topic should would like to see in a future issue of the Survivor Link? Please email suggestions to