A noted actor visited Pentagon leaders and staffers today to discuss his support for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS.
“TAPS offers help, hope and healing to families of our fallen service men and women,” actor Eric Dane said during his visit.
TAPS is a nonprofit national veterans service organization that offers peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, casualty casework assistance and crisis intervention for military families.
Dane has acted in the television series Grey’s Anatomy, and is the current lead in the post-apocalyptic dramatic series The Last Ship. But perhaps his most meaningful role has been in real life, as the son of a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam and passed away when Eric was just 7 years old.
Telling the Military Story
Dane said working on the The Last Ship has afforded him the chance to meet people from across the ranks and military branches, a privilege he doesn’t take lightly.
“The more I learn from you, the more impressed I am by your service to this great country, and the more determined that I am that all of us on the show get it right when it comes to portraying military [people] on television,” Dane said to current and former service members and their families.
And though he feels a sense of pride when donning his “digi-blues,” the dark and light blue Navy pattern of the service’s utility uniform, he said, he’s humbled to be part of The Last Ship and, along with fellow cast members and crew, to help tell the stories of service members.
“My job is not just to entertain but also to manifest and honor the courage and commitment that each of you possess,” Dane said. “My show is fictional. You’re the real heroes.”
TAPS Honors Grieving Military Families
TAPS president Bonnie Carroll, who founded the organization following the death of her husband, Army Brig. Gen. Tom Carroll, in a C-12 plane crash in 1992, praised Dane’s involvement in bringing the challenges of mourning military families to light.
“TAPS has been very blessed to have wonderful support from many sectors of our society, citizens who have stepped forward to honor those who have selflessly served in the cause of freedom,” Carroll said.
Carroll said Dane takes his role on The Last Ship as Navy Commander Tom Chandler very seriously.
“He portrays the Navy in the absolute best light; it is a collaborative effort,” she said. “He is one of us … an extraordinary individual and a great citizen.”
The second season of The Last Ship will return in summer 2015.
(Follow Amaani Lyle on Twitter: @LyleDODNews)