Military funeral buglers looking for call to service

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EAST HANOVER TOWNSHIP, LEBANON COUNTY, P.A. --- "Taps" is a remembrance song Navy veteran and trained bugler David Drayer knows well.

"Every one I play...I've played, like I say, thousands, is special. Every one is special," said Drayer.

At Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, taps can be heard at every military funeral.

However, more often than not, it's played by an electronic bugle on a recording.

That frustrates Drayer.

"They're very impersonal and I think our veterans who served our country either for a lifetime, or their lifetime, or gave their life deserve a live bugler at their final service," said Drayer.

He is a part of Taps for Veterans, which is a volunteer buglers group with roughly 50 members here in Pennsylvania.

Another group, Bugles Across America, has 4,000 members, nation-wide.

Douglas Wilburne, the assistant state director for Bugles Across America, said when a request is sent to them, every bugler within a hundred miles of the service will be notified.

"I'm not aware of a single instance where we've been requested to be present for a service that we weren't able satisfy that request," said Wilburne.

He said connecting buglers with families, funeral homes and cemeteries is their challenge.

"There are a pool of buglers available and ready to perform taps at military funerals for our veterans," said Wilburne.

For information and a request form for Bugles Across America, follow the link here.

Information and request forms for Taps for Veterans can be found here.

Next Saturday, May 19, for Armed Forces Day, between 35-50 buglers will come to Indiantown Gap National Cemetery for their "Echo Taps" performance, starting at 11 a.m.

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