Serving Those Who Have Served
Piping at a National Cemetery is very different from a traditional cemetery, and as a piper who has performed at hundreds of services throughout Florida I can attest to that. There are 9 National Cemeteries in Florida (Barrancas (Pensacola), Bay Pines, Cape Canaveral, Florida (Bushnell), Jacksonville, Sarasota, South Florida (Lake Worth), St. Augustine, and Tallahassee. I have had the honor to pipe for Veterans and fallen servicemembers in Bay Pines, Bushnell, and Sarasota. The services have a maximum window of 30 minutes and they tend to run very much on time, at least at the locations I have performed.
Now you might ask how is it different at Bay Pines, Bushnell or Sarasota versus any other cemetery. First there is a different respect and procedure at National Cemeteries, as it should be, and so being punctual is not good enough, you must be early as a piper. I arrive at least 30 minutes early, know how every branch does their ceremony and I know how the VFW and USMCL do their ceremonies. Every piper starts somewhere but at a veteran service is not where you want someone with little experience piping your loved ones final tune.
In addition to all that, I lower my prices for Veteran and Veteran Spouses services as a way to pay respect for what they have done for us. Also, I do not charge for fallen servicemember services as stated on my homepage. There is not much leeway for military services and I'm happy to explain in detail what I have found to be the best way to have bagpipes at those services. I do hope when that time eventually comes, you will consider me to be your piper for these services. It is a true honor for me, which I to not take lightly. An important item is to make sure you let me know your loved one served or they are a spouse of a servicemember, I do not require paperwork to confirm that status. This also applies to allied nations as I have performed for foreign veteran services.
For those I have piped for and those I will, thank you for allowing me to be a unique and special part of your life!