A man who did not know how to play the trumpet, learned on his own, so that he could honor fallen soldiers.
Gary Marquardt started to play the trumpet at 66 years of age, he was enlisted in the military, and was due to be drafted for the Vietnam War, but due to a bleeding ulcer, he was deemed unfit to serve.
However, decades later, he is now able to overcome that sense of guilt of not being able to do his duty alongside his fellow soldiers, by honoring them in a unique way.
Back in 2014, when he was attending the funeral of a military friend, he could not fathom why they had a mechanical recording of a bugle playing taps, so he decided to do something about it and walked into a music store and started learning to play the trumpet.
It must have been quite disturbing to his family and neighbors because Marquardt practiced day and night. His wife says, “It was awful, seemed like every 15 minutes, it was all the time. We were all hoping he would get better. And then he did.”
It wasn’t long before Marquardt became a proper trumpeter and began using his newly acquired talent when he visited local cemeteries and played taps at the gravestones of recently deceased veterans and soldiers.
It’s been five years since Marquardt has been playing taps from the balcony of his home in Excelsior, Minnesota; he visits cemeteries almost every day to play taps at military graves; and also volunteers for Bugles Across America, a nonprofit that recruits trumpeters to play taps at military funerals.
Marquardt is about to turn 70 years old in April, but it seems he is not going to slow down anytime soon on his trumpet playing.