Focus on Fostoria - April_14

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Fostoria Focus - April 14, 2004

Veterans Commission Provides Electronic
Bugles to color Guards
By Leonard Skonecki
- Click for picture -

Everyone is moved by the playing of "Taps" at a funeral or Memorial Day service. However, around the country there is a shortage of buglers to play for color guards such as the Fostoria United Veterans or the Seneca County United Veterans.

The Seneca County Veterans Service Commission has made it possible for "Taps" to be played at all appropriate occasions by providing area honor guards with new electronic bugles which can be played whether an actual bugler is available or not.

"We saw there was a need for this. We saw the use of boom boxes in many situations and the problems with that," said Dave Young, chairman of the Veterans Commission.

"The United States government has very few buglers anymore. Someone came up with the idea of an electronic bugle that plays a life-like rendition of Taps," he said. "We thought it was a very good idea."

So the commission purchased eight of the electronic bugles and presented two of them to the Fostoria United Veterans on April 5.

Part of the duty of the Seneca County Veterans Service Commission is that "of never forgetting the veterans of Seneca County."

That duty is most faithfully and reverently carried out at Veterans funerals where organizations like the Fostoria United Veterans and the Seneca County United Veterans provide military honors.

The purpose of the electronic bugles is not to replace buglers. The Fostoria United Veterans enjoy the very capable services of Dave Zoll, the bugler for many years. The electronic bugles are for those times when a bugler is unavailable.

The new bugles are real bugles fitted with a playing device held in place out of sight in the bell of the bugle by a rubber grommet. The bugles can be played without the electronic device if desired.

The recording used is of an actual bugler playing "Taps" at Arlington National Cemetery in 1999. The quality of the recording is very good. It is full and rich.

The bugles are made of brass and cost $550. They have a volume control so they can be used both indoors and out. They are simpler to operate than a CD player or boom box.

Once they're switched on, a red light comes on. There is a five-second delay which gives the operator time to put the bugle to his lips to simulate playing. Then "Taps" begins.

They operate off two 9-volt batteries and will play 40 times on a set of batteries.

The bugles are available to all honor guards in Seneca County. The commission has purchased eight. The Fostoria United Veterans and Seneca County United Veterans have each been issued one. The remaining six will remain at the commission office in Tiffin and can be borrowed by other color guards as needed.

The Seneca County Veterans Service Commission provides a range of services to Seneca County's 6,000 veterans. Last year the Commission had 3,000 veteran contacts.

The commissioners are Dave Young, Jim Rochester, Dave Martien, Tom Evans and John Liefheit. The commission can be reached at (419) 447-2885.

The Fostoria United Veterans are commanded by Frank Kraske. They provide military honors at the funerals of all veterans. There is no charge.

When making funeral arrangements for a loved one who was a veteran, families need only make the funeral director aware of the deceased's veteran status and the funeral home will contact the color guard.

The Veterans Service Commission provides funds to honor guards for the purchase of uniforms, gloves, caps, flags and other supplies. The bugles are another service to the honor guards.

"It's truly a pleasure for the commissioners to assist the color guards so you can be proud to serve in your veterans' honor guards," Dave said. "We have a system that permits monies to go from the veterans funds to purchase uniforms and equipment. We are proud to make these funds available."


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