Local man honors troops with bugle nightly

Posted at 3:08 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 15:09:44-04

This weekend, many of you will take time out to honor all those who've served our country.  But for one Tampa Bay area man, honoring our troops is a nightly ritual.

As the sun sinks each night at Indian Rocks Beach, Ken Deka stands watching.  And just as the sun disappears, he slowly raises up his bugle..

For 58 seconds, nearly everyone on the beach stops what they're doing, to listen.

"Every night for about a year now," Deka said.

That's right.  Every single night, he plays.  After moving to Florida to retire, a fan following caught him playing occassionally on the beach, and they requested Deka make it a tradition.

"Because in the military, you hear Taps every day.  And I just love it.  You get some nice, quiet peaceful time.  It gives you a moment to stop and think," said Deka.

With small flags beside his feet, Deka is also reminded of all those who proudly serve, including his own loved ones.

"My brother died about five years ago now.  He just loved to hear Taps.  We're both veterans, and there's something special about Taps," said Deka.

So Deka plans to continue coming here every night, to the delight of anyone lucky enough to be listening.

"I kind of like to think that it's something that they've never seen...Something they won't believe, and something they'll never forget," he said.

And after the last note is played, Deka shakes a few hands, then packs up his flags and beach chair, and waits for the sun to set again.

If you'd like to hear Ken Deka play Taps, he performs every single night at sunset near the 17th Street beach entrance at Indian Rocks Beach.