I want to introduce you to an American Patriot, my friend Michael Jackson from Rhode Island. I first met Michael when I was the General Manager of the National Hotel on Block Island, Rhode Island, and Michael was an entertainer, that played guitar and sang. He was so good, we hired him for the entire summer, and he would play afternoons 6 days a week on the porch overlooking Old Harbor.

When I came to Bangor and started entertainment at the Ramada Inn, Michael came up a few times and was well received!

But, his true call to fame is that he is the Rhode Island State Bugler. Michael travels all over the State, whenever a veteran is buried and plays taps. Today, he has played at his 10,000th funeral. That's just an overwhelming number to contemplate, that 10,000 veterans have passed away in the small state of Rhode Island, and that Michael has been there, providing comfort, and a fitting final salute to these veterans.

Here's how his wife Laurie describes her feelings

Congratulations to my husband, Michael Joseph Jackson, as today, he sounds Taps for his 10,000th Veteran as State Bugler of the RI Military Funeral Honors Program! Whether it's a blazing 95 degrees or a below zero wind chill (like today), rain or snow, Michael is always there for our Veterans. And this number doesn't include all the ceremonies, memorials, and parades that he plays Taps at over the course of a year, in addition to another 100 or so funerals he's done at Bourne National Cemetery in MA. My heart is full with love and pride for this man, who shows us all, what dedication and honor is all about. And it doesn't go unnoticed, as his younger, active-duty, teammates in Funeral Honors even call him "Iron Mike". Well done and thank you Sgt. Jackson!

I hope you'll join me in congratulating Sergeant Michael Jackson on an incredible job!