Audri Beugelsdijk had been married for less than 11 weeks when she received a visit from a casualty officer. Her husband has been lost at sea on the USS Kinkaid. 

“It’s just the last thing that you could imagine happening and it just turned my world upside down,” Beugelsdijk says.

Beugelsdijk and her husband Jason Springer met in the Navy and the two “became very good friends and then it turned into something else, as often happens,” she says. “He loved what he did. He had a bounce in his step and was ready to change the world, and it was a shock to my core when he died.” 

Only days after receiving the news of her husband’s death, Beugelsdijk, who was also serving in the Navy, learned about the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS, an organization that provides support to the families of fallen service members.

“I picked up the phone and I called and that was the first time I connected with another person who looked like me and who was a young widow who understood what I was going through,” she recounts. 

TAPS provides peer counseling and practical support resources to family members who have lost loved ones while serving, or after serving in the military

Years after she received much needed support from the nonprofit, Beugelsdijk is serving other families in the same way as vice president of survivor services for TAPS. 

Audri Beugelsdijk, vice president of survivor services for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. (Photo: Courtesy of TAPS)

Beugelsdijk joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” on Memorial Day to share her story of loss and grief, and to explain how the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors has, and continues to serve thousands of family members of fallen service members. 

Listen to the podcast below: