WW II Vet 92 years of age and still playing taps
Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There's none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
92 years young, WWII Army Veteran, Albert “Buddy” Madden has been playing taps since he was six. Last fall he became one of the oldest buglers to play taps at Arlington National Cemetery.
When Madden was a teenager, he bought a trumpet with his hard earned money. Later, he dropped out of high school and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps where he became the camp bugler.
Shortly after the start of World War II, Madden decided it was time to enlist. So he joined the Navy in 1944. After four years there Madden transferred to the Army.
During Madden's 27-year military career, he played in more than 19 Army bands, performed at hospitals and bases all over the United States, internationally and played the highlight of Madden's career happened in September 2010. He was invited to play during a memorial honoring the 3rd Infantry at Arlington National Cemetery. It was the first time he'd played there. He said it was the crowning glory of his career.
The most difficult time for Madden was at his father’s funeral. His father, a WWI vet died of lung cancer. Time and again he would ask his son to play taps at his funeral. On that fateful day he did as promised. He said it was the toughest performance in his life.
Madden vows that he will perform taps as long as he can breathe because there are fewer and fewer volunteers to play at ceremonies. He still gets emotional each time he plays. "It's a very moving call," he says. "I'm saying goodbye to heroes. I'm saying goodbye to my fellow soldiers." And, he quickly adds, "I'm also honoring their survivors. They deserve the same respect."
News & Politics