MONROE, La. – Ten trumpet students at a Louisiana university are offering to play Taps at veterans’ funerals, rather than leave the haunting farewell bugle call to a recording.
Talons for Taps is a group named because the Warhawk is mascot of the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
All of the students are taught by Assistant Professor Eric Siereveld. Siereveld said he suggested the volunteer program and explained the importance of acknowledging the sacrifices that service members make.
Music education major Kody Jernigan says that even a recorded call is meaningful, but he says that when a person plays and the horn rings over the field, it takes the breath out of your chest.
Talons for Taps performances are free, however honorariums are accepted.
“We use those gifts to cover both travel costs and to provide the students contact with clinicians and military servicemen and women who provide insight to this simple, but important service,” Siereveld to The University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Siereveld said Talons for Taps prefers to stay in a 30- to 40-minute travel radius, “However, since we understand the importance of this service, we will consider any and all requests for a Talons for Taps service. We may not always to be able to provide the service, but we attempt to fulfill all of our service members families in need.”