Letter: Heart of a volunteer
Editor: During the first few days of our Marine Corps training, they would play a recording of “Reveille” for wake-up (5:30 a.m.), “Assembly” for breakfast, or “Taps” (10 p.m.) for lights out. Friends and relatives who had been in the military told us never volunteer for anything! Well, John didn’t get the memo! One day, our senior D.I. came into our squad bay (barracks) carrying a bugle and asked if anyone could play the bugle. John volunteered that he could play the bugle. This meant he had to get up 10 to 15 minutes before everyone else, run downstairs, blow “Reveille,” then “Assembly,” then “Taps” at 10 p.m., which meant he had to stay up beyond everyone else (our training was quite vigorous, so 10 to 15 minutes of extra sleep meant a lot!).
Every Thursday we would have a conditioning hike, and outdoor walk (including pack, M-14 rifle) approximately 6 miles per hour on hilly terrain. Anyone who has hiked with a group will know what I’m talking about. If we were the last platoon (approximately 40 men) out of four platoons, we would resemble a caterpillar or accordion. When our leader would reach the crest of a hill, he would yell “bugler up” and John would have to run to the top of the hill, with rifle, helmet, pack and bugle in town, and blow “Charge.”
Life was not easy for a bugler named John.