Bay County Family Speaks Out About Bugle Device Problems at Fune - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Bay County Family Speaks Out About Bugle Device Problems at Funerals

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For one Bay County family, mlitary honors didn't work out as planned at two funerals for family members.  They wanted to know why.  So, they turned to News 13 for help.  Details on what happened in this Problem Solver report.

Twenty four notes that call attention to respect particularly at U.S. military funerals.  This variation of an earlier bugle call has been used at funerals since the civil war.

But, these days..."taps" may actually be played through another means.  Electronic bugles were authorized by President George W. Bush and have been used since 2003.  However, there have been problems with the devices not working properly from time to time.

Mr. Harold Taylor, retired Air Force veteran, was laid to rest at a Bay County cemetery this past veterans day.  And a bugle device malfunction is apparently what happened here.  Unfortunately, it wasn't the first for the family.

Tony Taylor told us, the honor guards for his father, who served in Korea and Viet Nam and an uncle, came from Tyndall Air Force Base.  Taylor told us, "about two years ago...we buried our uncle out here on this same cemetery...and we had an honor guard from the same military installation and the same exact thing happened."  Taylor is a former U.S. Army paratrooper.  He says he has served on honor guards in his military career and, "Even having to participate in those type ceremonies., I know we prepped, practiced, we planned and we always had a contingency plan.  There was taps played."

Taylor's sister, Janet Bagwell, told us about her concerns, "When that happened they should have made sure that didn't happen again and with the same family."

Bagwell says there was no explanation as to what happened with the device from the honor guard after the funeral service.  She says, "They did the flag ceremony and that was it and it really bothered me because my father deserved more than that."

I suggested that Mrs. Bagwell contact Tyndall directly.  She did...and says she got somewhat of an apology.

It is reflected in this response News 13 received from the Tyndall AFB honor guard through the Public Affairs Office:

"Tyndall Air Force Base Honor Guard performs their duties with the utmost respect and diligence. Regarding the Nov. 11 technical malfunction, our airmen followed proper regulations for the situation and since then we have purchased three new devices.  We have spoken with the family, explained and apologized for the malfunction of the electronic bugle device.  The honor guard strives to provide the best service possible when honoring our nation's finest."

ANDREA M. VALENCIA, 1st Lt, USAF

Chief, Media Relations

325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida