EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A soldier wanted to bring awareness to the problem of veteran suicide, so he came up with a novel idea.
This week’s veterans voices ‘Taps’ is an emotional tribute, a song of prayer and a salute to our nation’s heroes and now one unlikely musician is playing it as much as he can.
It’s a solemn tune we’re all familiar with ‘Taps’, the nation’s song of remembrance, serving as a tribute to those who died for their country. For veteran Lash Bragan ‘Taps’ now take up most of his free time, playing it for as many veterans as he can.
Bragan was an infantry soldier assigned to a field artillery unit. His job? To guard nuclear missiles. At a recent reunion of his unit, he was saddened to learn of several suicides from his group.
“I had also found out that at military funerals, It’s very rare for you to get an actual live person sounding Taps. You’ll have a soldier there if you’re lucky holding a bugle and inside the bugle, there’s an insert. They push play and it’s a recording,” said Bragan.
Bragen felt every soldier deserved a live rendition, so he set up a Facebook page and it worked. Now he’s getting requests to play all over the country 10,000 followers and counting.
What’s incredible is that Bragan didn’t even know how to play the trumpet! So he went on the internet to learn.
“I went on Youtube on a channel that talked about how to do the trumpet. So I learned the principles from Youtube. It was very difficult. My kids wanted to kill me, my neighbors didn’t like me much,” said Bragan.
But now that Bragan has mastered his craft, every time he plays ‘Taps’, another soldier is remembered.
“The family members will write in and write the entire story of what happened to these soldiers while they were serving, the different situations they were in. It’s really unbelievable,” said Bragan.
Each night, Bragan invites veterans in the community to hear him play ‘Taps’.