Jed Boal ReportingAs Veterans Day approaches, many Americans will contemplate the contributions of our military men and women. One Taylorsville man is doing what he can to give veterans the finest final melody they deserve.
DeVon Simper cannot serve in the military, but he is duty-bound to perform for his country somehow. About 1500 Veterans from all US wars die every day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs -- dozens each day in Utah alone. But the military has only 500 buglers, already assigned for other services.
DeVon Simper, Bugles Across America: “There’s not enough buglers to sound that final important call that they’ve earned and deserved.”
In the absence of live buglers, CD's and digital bugles get the job done, but many purist patriots believe every veteran deserves a live bugler at his or her funeral.
Four years ago a retired US Marine formed Bugles Across America to recruit buglers. There are now 1500 volunteers nationwide, 25 in Utah.
For Simper and the other volunteers of Bugles Across America, it's a simple matter of dignity.
DeVon Simper: "If you start to replace one soldier with one CD or digital bugle, you start to replace history, and you start to forget. You start to forget the meaning behind taps and what it means to veterans worldwide."
It's a very emotional melody and Simper helps bring closure to veterans' families.
DeVon Simper: "That's your swan song. That's what they take away from the ceremony and what they will remember for quite a long time."
It's also a difficult piece and sometimes the buglers crack a note, but that does not necessarily mean the bugler is bad.
DeVon Simper: "It's not that we haven't practiced. That's our tear. It's almost like a tear being shed."
The organization is looking for buglers of any age, as long as they can play Taps.