Performed my first gig today

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Maui_Jimmy, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    That was only 10 years on active duty as a military trumpet player, and The Old Guard stopped doing the off-post funerals like they had in the past. Some of my friends who were in the Fife and Drum before me did a lot more than that.

    Some of them blur together, but there are a few that stand out. One of the worst ones I had to do was a double funeral for a recent widower who lost both of his sons in a car accident the night before his son who was in the Army was supposed to get married. This big bear of a man was absolutely crushed with grief.

    I also did a number of funerals for the 14th Quartermaster Detachment who lost members from a SCUD missile during Desert Storm.
    14th Quartermaster Detachment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    They sent 3 buglers to Monroeville, PA on TDY, plus a guy to do logistics, and that's all we did that week - each of us would play "Taps" at 1-2 funerals a day. This was when I was still at the First US Army Band at Fort Meade.

    Another one I remember was a long-distance funeral I did up in the mountains of PA. It was cold - probably about 27-28 degrees, but the air was really still. The location was this little family cemetery out in the country on a mountainside. Just before I started to play it started to snow very gently - just a few flakes, drifting slowly down, and when I did play, with the combination of the cold still air and the mountains, my sound just rang out and echoed.

    Those were the good ones. There were others that weren't so picturesque, such as the funeral in Washington DC next to a busy multi-lane road. It was a hot summer day, and just as I started to play an 18 wheeler going down the road down-shifted, causing that big "BRRRRAAAAAAAPPAPAPAPAPP" sound. All I could do was to increase my volume to get over the sound of the busy road nearby.

    And then there were ones that we did in torrential downpours. Logistics didn't alway work out very well for the family.

    Through it all I always tried to remember that if might have been my umpteenth funeral, but it was just one funeral for the family, and they deserved my very best every time.
  2. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    When I was a teenager I played the Last Post at the funeral of my best friend's grandfather, who had been in the Irish Free State Army. As such he was entitled to a military gun salute and bugler, and my friend's mother asked the army if I could play instead, which they said was fine. I did my best (and did okay I think, though only playing a couple of years at the time) since I knew there was no second go for the family, but was disappointed that it was absolutely pouring rain and my mother insisted I wear my plastic yellow raincoat which stood out against the darker green uniforms the soldiers were wearing (somebody was taking photos for the newspaper).

  3. Maui_Jimmy

    Maui_Jimmy Piano User

    Jun 28, 2011
    Deer Park, TX
    Thanks for sharing Patrick! I couldn't imagine all the feelings you experienced in all this. I did, however, see in my mind, the man crushed with grief. I could feel the cold still air and see the snow flakes as I heard the echo of the trumpet from the mountains. I was even irritated at the nerve of that driver of the 18 wheeler!

    I do remember about the Quartermaster detachment and how shocked everyone was about this happening.

    It was good that you could stay sensitive to those in grief even after it became old to you. I would think it would kind of numb you to funerals after a few hundred, or less.

    Thanks again
  4. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    If you are a retiree you most certainly can wear a uniform at certain ceremonies, one of which is a funeral.

    However, it assumes that the wearer is otherwise within appearance regulations.
  5. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    I agree with Maui Jimmy, you could compile some kind of an interesting book, unless that would be in bad taste.....I guess those type of things would be a bit of an invasion of privacy, and preying on people in their moment of extreme grief and all. Anyway.
    Hey, Patrick, by the way, pm me we haven't been in touch for some time! I am in rehab right now with a broken femur........Talk later my friend.
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I reiterate, 10 USC 772 governs and states nothing about funerals (or patriotic events) only that the uniform may be worn 90 days after discharge. Yet, Army Regulation AR 670-1 dated 31 March 2014 under authority of the Army of the Deputy Chief of Staff goes into such great length about the variety of approved Army uniforms, when, where and how, personal appearance and reflection on the Army. After reading its tome, I do discern that retirees and those veterans that honorably served during a "declared or undeclared war" may again wear their dress uniform to attend military weddings, funerals, and patriotic events.

    I've yet to read the regulations of the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard, and won't unless I have to, but the Air Force as of my knowledge goes no further than the United States Code compliance, AFI 36-2903 18 July 2011
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Ed, I'm not sure what you are getting at, because the regulation you are quoting that says nothing about funerals is specifically aimed at non-retirees - just those who served and went through a discharge process. Like me. Retirees can absolutely wear their uniform at funerals, provided they wear it correctly.
  8. Malamute

    Malamute Pianissimo User

    Aug 3, 2013
    Sussex, England
    I think it was very brave of you to do the "gig". no other players to back you. Well done.
  9. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Absolutely agree - well done.
  10. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    That's how I read the Army Regulation, plus the ambiguity of those that served honorably (inclusive of general discharge) in a "declared or undeclared war". Most importantly, any who have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor can wear the uniform anywhere at their pleasure.

    While the common American citizen refers to the "Korean War", the official record of it is titled "Korean Conflict", just as the "Civil War" official record is titled "Civil Rebellion".

    As a youth I lived through World War II when wearing any part of the uniform or an insignia of same that was not documentary authorized was deemed criminal false personation and yet today we find such in many thrift shops and worn on our streets ... many by destitute veterans in need of warm clothing. Back to my youth, personally, I acquired a Navy P coat which my Mother replaced the buttons on and removed the inside label. It was a very warm coat of superior quality to what is issued today. One day as I was walking to school while wearing it, I was stopped by the local police and taken before a magistrate who ruled in my favor due to my Mother's handiwork. The magistrate then wrote a note to my school that excused me. I say this, because the current regulation of the Army says that all insignia shall be removed from discards. You've only to look at "shopgoodwill" to see this regulation is not complied with and the Army, DOD or other military Department doesn't do anything about it. Oh yeah, they scream "budget" to elude and evade doing so, just as they do to lay aside sounding live Taps at all veterans funerals as they promised but will give enough money to a contractor to develop and produce ceremonial "bugles" or alternatively present Taps in a National Cemetery from a single monaural 8 ohm speaker, or otherwise with a Bb field trumpet so the sounding can be heard further than a U.S. Regulation bugle pitched in G.

    Point: Laws and regulations are worthless unless stringently enforced with ample and sufficient budget to secure total compliance.

    Patrick, tell me how a retiree who subsequently lost a leg to diabetes for which a prosthetic exacerbates his health can wear the uniform "correctly". We've a retired Air Force Colonel here that folds his uniform trouser leg and sits in his powered wheelchair that does. IMO such is absolutely "correct", just as it would be for all who have lost limbs in combat. I was curious, because he hasn't a Purple Heart decoration and he willingly explained.

    I've no complaint or probable cause to object whenever I perceive a person wearing a military uniform and with proper appearance and actions. If not legal, s/he honors those that are IMO.

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