Jacksonville (Fla.) Squadron 137 has its very own Taps bugler, Jim Steele. As of Aug. 30, 2018, Jim, who is the Squadron Vice Commander, had already fulfilled 50 Taps missions in 2018. Some of this year's highlights include sounding Taps for an E5 Coast Guard SPAR WWII veteran who served in Pearl Harbor, several Vietnam veterans, several Memorial Day observances, Four Chaplains memorials and the American Legion Department of Florida Convention, The crowning jewel of this year's Taps performances has been a trip to the national battlefield at Gettysburg, Pa. Not only did Jim honor the fallen of the 3-day battle of Gettysburg by sounding Taps as the featured bugler at the Soldiers National Monument on June 26, 2018, for the Gettysburg 100 Nights of Taps 2018 - he also toured the battlefield and honored the fallen by sounding Taps from Cemetery Hill, Little Round Top, Big Round Top, Culp's Hill, Devils Den, the Copse of Trees and Longstreet's tower. Jim is currently scheduled to sound Taps at the Sept. 22, 2018, Gathering in the Pines to commemorate the POW/MIA Memorial and Museum at the former Cecil Field Naval Air Station, and at upcoming Veterans Day remembrance services. Honoring our veterans and their service through live Taps sounded by an actual performing bugler is becoming a lost heritage that Jim Steele is doing his best to keep alive and well in Jacksonville. His mission is time-honored and simple: honor and remember our veterans and their service.
Jim also serves on the Post 137 Honor Guard, is a member and 2016-2017, 2017-2018 past director of American Legion Riders Florida Chapter 137, assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 522 BSA, and volunteers with the Missing in America Project (MIAP), Bugles Across America and Taps for Veterans.