Honoring Veterans, Earning Tuition Dollars
Student Tyler Rogney has played Taps at 80+ gatherings
Student Tyler Rogney may not be a member of the military, but his service to veterans’ families in the Waupaca and King, Wisconsin area has been noteworthy. For years, Tyler was called upon to play Taps for local military funerals and memorial services.
“My mom is a band teacher, so she knew there was a need for people to play at funerals,” Tyler explains. “I started playing the trumpet in fifth grade and by seventh grade I began receiving tuition vouchers to play Taps.”
Due to a shortage of buglers, it’s been increasingly difficult to have a live rendition of Taps at military funerals. So, in 2003 the State of Wisconsin established a voucher program where student buglers could receive a $25 tuition remission each time they played at a military honors funeral.
Between grades 7-11, Tyler delivered the 24-note bugle call at 83 military-related memorial services, sometimes accommodating up to four requests a week. This fall, starting his first semester in the Automotive Technology associate degree program at FVTC, Tyler paid $1775 of his tuition bill with a stack of 71 tuition vouchers.
Tyler understands the vouchers have played a big role in his being able to afford college. But with two grandfathers who served in the military, the importance of what Tyler did to earn those vouchers is not lost on him.
“When I play, I stand off to the side and I do not interact with those who are grieving because that is not why I’m there,” Tyler reflects. “Once in a while someone would come up to me to say thank you, but they didn’t have to. You can just tell how much it means to someone when you play Taps.”