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February 13, 2017 - learned about a wonderful organization called the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) while at the Washington International Horse Show last October. When a loved one does not return from being in the military, the grieving process for the surviving family can be overwhelming.


Realizing the difficulties that these relatives and families endure, military veteran Bonnie Carroll founded TAPS in 1994 and serves as it's president. She is the surviving spouse of the late Brigadier General Tom Carroll.

Since its inception, the charity has helped over 70,000 family members with sensitive care in the form of support programs and events for the families of fallen American military heroes. President Barack Obama recognized TAPS and Bonnie Carroll’s outstanding work by awarding her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, November 24, 2015.

Since 2009, TAPS has had a relationship with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment Old Guard Caisson Platoon, of Fort Meyer, VA, which is part of the Old Guard, the oldest active duty unit in the Army, from 1784. The ceremonial cavalry platoon includes caisson horses participates in official parades, special events and presidential inaugurations, and it accompanies funerals at Arlington National Cemetery.

One of the caisson horses currently serving is the adored seventeen year old, Klinger, a Morgan Percheron cross, 16 hands, with a magnetic presence. He has been known to show up at events, including the Washington International Horse Show. Klinger has proved so popular that TAPS published a children’s book named Klinger, A Story of Honor and Hope.

Occasionally, after serving for over a decade, a caisson horse comes up for adoption. The Old Guard takes applications from the public. Read more about Taps and the Old Guard Platoon here.

Jewelry Designer Creates Pendant for Charity as Tribute to Great Grandmother

Equestrian artisan and entrepreneur, Jeni Benos, of Jenuinely Jeni Inc. created a striking pendant to honor her great grandmother, Angeliki. Learning about the many hardships her great grandmother faced throughout her life inspired Jeni to focus her artistic efforts to honor Angeliki’s memory and ultimately help to fight abuse.

Angeliki necklace by Jeni Benos
Angeliki necklace by Jeni Benos

In designing the Angeliki necklace Jeni set out to create something both beautiful and compelling to honor her great grandmother properly. She also made the decision upfront to donate 100% of the profits from the sales of the pendant to women’s charities. A considerable amount of thought went into each aspect of the design with meaning behind every element included.

The only thing that Jeni knew her great grandmother truly loved was riding horses. Riding was something she did frequently while growing up in Greece on a small family farm. Therefore the decision to use a horse to represent her seemed quite fitting.

Learn more about the Jeni Benos, her great grandmother Angeliki and the charities benefiting necklace sales here.

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