LIFE

Teen Wants To Make Sure Every Veteran Funeral Has Someone Playing Taps

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

When 15-year-old Katie Prior lost her great-grandpa to Parkinson’s disease, all she wanted was to honor the World War II Army veteran by playing “Taps” at his memorial service.

She and her family discussed how much more it would mean to have the teen perform the military homage. Unfortunately, because the disease took him so suddenly, she didn’t quite have the time to learn the notes to the tune at that point.

After laying him to rest, Katie learned that her great-grandpa wasn’t the only veteran without a live bugle player performing for their funeral. Every day, around 1,500 veteran services rely on pre-recorded versions of the ode instead.

It makes sense that it would be difficult to have someone at that many funerals, but that just isn’t good enough for Katie. She believes each and every vet deserves so much more than the sound of a tinny tape player sending them off after all their selfless service in protecting our country. So, Katie founded the Youth Trumpet & Taps Corps Association in her hometown of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She has since gathered 40 students in 6 different states to volunteer their bugle talents to the fallen war heroes in their communities. She even offers training for those who don’t know how to play yet. Her hope is to have at least one volunteer for every state.

For someone so young, it’s heartwarming to see how passionate Katie is about helping those around her. “It’s an amazing opportunity to do something you love and still be able to serve other people,” she says in the video below.

Whatever your gift may be, she encourages you to do the same. SHARE her inspiring message with your friends and family.

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