'Ghost Bugler' honors veterans on Memorial Day

Volunteer bugler Bob Chavanne has sounded taps hundreds of times. His commitment to honoring fallen soldiers began 40 years ago with inspiration from the sacrifice

In a place where veterans rest, a soldier's lullaby echoes through a garden of headstones. Volunteer bugler Bob Chavanne has sounded taps more than 700 times.

In a place where veterans rest, a soldier's lullaby echoes through a garden of headstones. Volunteer bugler Bob Chavanne has sounded taps more than 700 times. (5/25/15)

WOODBURY - In a place where veterans rest, a soldier's lullaby echoes through a garden of headstones. Volunteer bugler Bob Chavanne has sounded taps more than 700 times.

"My mission out here is to play with perfection," says Chavanne, of Valley Stream. He is known as the "Ghost Bugler." "I want to let the soldiers from every war, every battle -- let them know that there is a bugler, their friend."

Chavanne's commitment to honoring fallen soldiers began 40 years ago with inspiration from the sacrifice made by his great-uncle. Army Pvt. Anthony LaRuffa was killed in combat during World War I; he was buried in France without relatives present and without military honors. At age 14, Chavanne learned to play taps to pay tribute to his great-uncle.

Since 2001, Chavanne has made it his mission to play taps at as many cemeteries and veterans' services as he can. "Every day should be Memorial Day," he says. "The veterans are deserving of that."        

Once a month, Chavanne visits Long Island National Cemetery, where he plays patriotic songs for the 365,000 fallen heroes buried there. His bugling often brings comfort to the living who pay their respects at the cemetery.

Dorine Kenney's only child, Spc. Jacob Fletcher, was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2003. "I just heard the bugle," says Kenney. "I didn't see anybody, and then he came out of the shadows. It was so moving."

Chavanne played for Nancy Fuentes' son, Spc. Daniel Fuentes, on the eighth anniversary of his death in April. "He doesn't have do this," says Fuentes. "He's doing it from the bottom of his heart and it's an honor for us."

For the past 14 years, Chavanne has been a member of the group Bugles Across America. The organization provides volunteer buglers who perform taps at military funerals nationwide.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Police say a 24-year-old man has been arrested 1 Police: Man left 6-year-old nephew home alone for hours
Long Island's Congressional Democrats led a rally Sunday 2 Congressional Democrats rally to protect health care programs
On top of the Island Marriott, the site 3 Property owner wants to remove ham radio towers from hotel
Police shot and injured a suspected drunken driver 4 Police identify man who was shot, injured by police officer
A Mastic woman is accused of driving while 5 Woman dies after being pinned at gas station by allegedly high driver

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

A solemn ceremony Sunday at the Long Island Ceremony at LI National Cemetery honors veterans

A solemn ceremony Sunday at the Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale honored the heroes

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE