NFL partners with TAPS to host Surviving Military Families at 2018 Pro Bowl

Surviving military families met their favorite football players thanks to TAPS

Kaylah Jackson
January 26, 2018 - 9:25 am

(Photo Courtesy of TAPS Media)

This weekend in Orlando was more than just a gathering of the nation's top football players for a friendly, yet competititve game. TAPS gave some families of fallen heroes a special weekend by sending them to Orlando giving them an up close and personal meeting with some pro footballers.

With the help of a grant, the partnetship between the NFL and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) made it possible to send 16 families to the Pro Bowl through teams4taps, a program that creates "meaningful opportunities for the surviving families of America's military fallen by engaging with​ ​the ​athletes and teams they cheered for with their hero."

Losing someone is a tough experience and losing a loved one who fought overseas can be especially disheartening to those who don't understand, and that's why Bonnie Carroll create TAPS,  from her own experience of losing her husband in a plane crash 1992, she knew there was a void in supporting surviving military families.

"Grief isn't a mental illness, it isn't a physical injury..grief is a broken heart, we grieve because we love and what we can do to ease that brokenness a bit, is to be with those who understand, " said Carroll, TAPS founder and president. "For the families of those who have lost loved ones in military, the NFL has offered extraordinary experiences on the field where they have honored their fallen heroes and cheered on their favorite teams."

Through teams4taps, families got a chance attend the team practices, visit Disney World and even have breakfast with Alejandro Villanueva, Army Ranger and Pittsburgh Steelers player.

"We are proud to work with TAPS and give back to the men and women in uniform that sacrifice so much for this country," said NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility Anna Isaacson. "Celebrating the families of fallen heroes is one of the many ways to honor their legacy."

For more information go to or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS.