Bugler honors deceased veterans with personal touch

Bugler honors deceased veterans with personal touch

Taps is 24 notes that can make the toughest soldier cry.

It’s a musical recognition of a life ended, a goodbye that hangs in the air as friends and family wipe their tears, look up and know they must live the rest of their lives without someone.

Since 2001, retired Army Reserve Lt. Col. Philip Kowzan, has played taps at military honor funerals in the Spokane area. His debut came unexpectedly at longtime friend Ivan Brayman’s funeral.

“They had a recorder there and I said, ‘No, you’re not using that, not at my friend Ivan’s funeral,’?” Kowzan said.

A lifelong trumpet player, he got his trumpet out of the car, took a deep breath and played for his friend one last time.

“I wasn’t in uniform or anything,” Kowzan said. “I’m not even sure I did it right.”

That was the only time he played taps in 2001.

But since then, he’s played at 1,259 funerals, sometimes playing at three services in the morning and another three in the afternoon.

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