High School Student Helps to Meet Need for Buglers

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The tunes are lively during the Chippewa Falls High School's "10:30 Jam."

"We're not here to try and create music majors, but to create well- rounded individuals that are going to be future leaders," Band Director Doug Greenhalgh said.

So while many of her classmates put their instruments away after class, Brianna Seidlitz prepares for veterans' funerals and holidays that honor veterans, where she regularly plays "Taps."

"One of my friends was playing," Seidlitz said, "And I got asked to because they wanted to play echo taps, and I had been playing for two years."

The Patriotic Council in Chippewa Falls relies on Brianna to play at veterans' funerals, as they have with Chippewa Falls students for nearly five years.

"The guys are amazing, they're just like another family to me."

She's played at about a half-dozen funerals in the past month, and when she's not available, council member Robert Boettcher fills in with an electronic bugle that the group was given in 2001.

"Previous to that, we used a boombox, which was, to me, not very reverent," Boettcher said.

With a flip of a switch and the touch of a button, a recording of a bugler's rendition of "Taps" at the Arlington National Cemetary is played.

"It works out real well."

Though veterans' families seem to appreciate Brianna's rendition even more.

"You just realize how important that person was and how much they deserve it," she said.

Brianna says she'll go to UW-Eau Claire next year, and the state will pick up $25 of that tab with every funeral she plays, but that's not why she does it.

"It's such a respect and honor to do this, and i will hopefully keep doing it forever, till i can't do it anymore."

That's when another recruit from Chippewa Falls High School will likely honor fallen vets with their own rendition of "Taps."