(NBC News) "Taps" contains just 24 notes, but a shortage of military buglers means that far too often, veterans attend ceremonies only to hear recorded music.
Douglas Dykstra and other musicians involved with "Bugles Across America" are working to change that.
"According to the V.A., the veteran is entitled to a full honor guard and a bugler and because of V.A. cutbacks, and because there just aren't as many people playing instruments anymore they aren't getting that, and a lot of times all they get is a boom box," Dykstra points out. "And I feel that is actually a disgrace. It just does not add the same sound and feel as a live bugler."
Dykstra is Both a Vietnam veteran and a member of our NBC family, an engineer with NBC Network News.
"It's always a lot more personal. I was really impressed to see an actual bugler. They always lend a little bit of gravity to a ceremony," says Army Major Justin L. Babcock after serving in a burial detail accompanied by Dykstra. "I think they provided that today. It was wonderful."
Bugles Across America is always looking for volunteers, and accept musicians of any age, as long as they can pass an audition by playing "Taps".
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