The Department of Veterans Affairs predicts that 500,000 U.S. veterans will die annually over the next 7 years. That's almost 1400 a day. Congress passed legislation in 2000 that gave Veterans the right to two flag-folders and one playing of Taps at their funeral.
Since there are not enough buglers to cover the playing of Taps, Congress allowed that a CD recording was allowed. This was a sad substitution of a live bugler, but frankly, there were not enough buglers to do the job. In the early part of this past decade, the Pentagon approved a bugle that held a recorded version of Taps so that when one put the instrument to their lips and pressed a button, the recording would blare out of it as if it were live. A great attempt, but still not good enough to honor those who deserve a performance from an actual bugler, and it is devastating when they fail to work (which does happen on occasion) and the bugler is not able to actually perform the rite.
In 2000, Bugles Across America was created to give proper recognition to veterans who deserve to have a live performance of this piece. These men and women volunteer their time and talents to provide this earned honor to the fallen. Currently there are over 7300 volunteer registered across the country, with a growing number overseas. They are to be commended on volunteering their talents for those who cannot have a military bugler scheduled from the military.
Chip is one of the volunteers currently. In the last 6 months he has performed approximately 6-8 funerals. It is his honor and privilege to serve the fallen in such a manner. He refuses payment from the family and funeral home, stating that they have earned that honor and he will not take money for it.
If you know someone who could respectfully perform Taps on a volunteer basis, please have them consider registering with Bugles Across America. There are no obligations...you just perform when there is a service that you are available to attend. If you know of anyone who has earned this honor but cannot get an honor guard from the State Department, please contact Bugles Across America to request a bugler.
Let us not forget those who have fought for our right (and the rights of others) to live in freedom. May they rest in peace.
*Note: the above photo is a picture of Chip when he was serving in the National Guard as a member of the US Army Band. He was performing Taps for a young man who was killed in Afghanistan.
Honoring our service men and women works for our household. Please go over to We are THAT Family to see what works for everyone else!