Answering the call to serve one's country is noble. However, maintaining that commitment to one's community over a lifetime is a notable achievement.

In 1955, Nick Lucy took up the bugle at just 15. Shortly after that, he got recruited to play with the Dubuque Post 6 American Legion Drum & Bugle Corps. Nick joined the Navy reserves at 17. By the summer of 1959, he was aboard a Navy submarine in the Pacific. Following that stint, Nick joined the Air Force, where he advanced his telecommunications and electronics skills.

Eventually, Nick Lucy returned to his Midwestern roots and Dubuque to work for the local telephone company. Still, his call to serve never subsided, and he still gives his time and talents to veterans' issues and other community concerns.


Nick Lucy shares his military background, music, and Tri-State Memorial Day events.

Nick Lucy with Keith Shearer, Veterans Day 2021. Photo Credit: Linda Lucy
Nick Lucy with Keith Shearer, Veterans Day 2021. Photo Credit: Linda Lucy

Nick's bugle playing brings solace to the family and friends of deceased area veterans. Some weeks, Nick will attend four or more services with his wife, Linda. Last week it was five funerals in four days. Nick estimates having played "Taps" at over 2,500 funerals.

"Every time I play "Taps" at a funeral, it is personal. I pray that every note is sweet, melodious, and provides a pleasant memory at the solemn ceremony." - Nick Lucy

It's especially poignant on Memorial Day, with the playing of "Taps" to honor the memory of members of all five branches of the armed forces: the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

"There's a need for someone to play the bugle instead of a recording," added Nick. "It's a real honor, and I want each of the twenty-four notes to be on the mark."

Nick Lucy encourages all area veterans to join Dubuque American Legion Post 6. "We have about 600 members, but we need and want more younger veterans to join," said Nick Lucy.  Learn more by visiting the website

Military personnel holding a folded US flag.
Photo Credit: Bluberries


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