SYSK: Willis Huck plays taps at funerals for veterans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Willis Huck plays taps at funerals for veterans


If there's a funeral for a veteran in northeast Iowa, Willis Huck is probably there, playing Taps.

"The first time I played was in high school in 1943," said Willis Huck.

Willis said his band instructor asked who wanted to play Taps, and he stepped up with two other young men.

Almost 70 years later, he travels to about eight communities playing the song at veterans' funerals.

"Since I've been retired 19 years, I don't miss very many. I think it's nice for the families, and I'm a veteran, too. That's why I want to do it," he said.

Willis served in the Korean War. He couldn't play his trumpet for about two years. He's definitely made up for lost time.

Even though Willis Huck turns 82 soon, don't expect him to give up his trumpet.

"But I'm still going. Taps keeps me alive," said Huck.

He said he doesn't have an exact count of how many funerals he's played Taps at, but he typically averages between 20 and 30 a year.

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