Chaplain who helped out at veterans funerals for years is laid to rest

Chaplain who helped out at veterans funerals for years is laid to rest

Chaplain who helped out at veterans funerals for years is laid to rest

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by Shern-Min Chow / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 7:56 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 14 at 8:00 PM

HOUSTON—Every day, military veterans from wars long ago pay a final salute to their fallen brothers at Houston’s National Cemetery. 

The volunteers are from the Ceremonial Detail for VFW District 4. 

“We do services anywhere from 1 – 7 a day, 5 days a week,” said their commander Gus Sicovsky.

On Tuesday afternoon, the man being buried is not just a brother in arms. 

Gus Sicovsky chokes back tears.

“It’s our brother,” he said.

His little brother Phil Sicovsky was being buried.  Gus Sicovsky, who is the detail’s bugler, never wavered about the task at hand. 

“I wanted to do it for him,” he smiled adding, “This is your last hoot.”

The fresh faced boys were three years apart, graduating from St. Thomas and serving in the navy.  After retiring from oil field work both ended up in the ceremonial detail, working at Houston National Cemetery.  Phil Sicovsky was the chaplain. 

Brenda Bollom with American Heritage Funeral Home reflected on those times.

“They would come in the heat, the sleet, the snow, whatever climate of weather it was they would come out,” she said.

There is a third Sivcosky brother already buried at Houston’s National Cemetery. Two fought in WWII, the other in Korea and Vietnam. 

Gus Sivcosky will be buried at another cemetery.

“That’s where my wife is buried. I’m gonna get plopped with her, so we can still argue,” he said.

His mind and body belie his years. 

 

“I am 90.  I was born in 1923,” he said.

His bugle still blows strong and sweet.  He will keep playing while he has breath left, to bid all his brothers goodbye.  

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