(Stationery is Knights of Columbus, Overseas Service, On Active Service with the American Expeditionary Forces, KofC Crest with American Flags)


Dear Mother:

Will write you a few lines tonight as we are still here in Asques and I suppose will be for a week or so yet. I am surely the busiest guy that ever landed in this dump. I am working about 16 or 17 hours a day. The First Lieut. has got it in his noodle that I have to go to Bugler School and play all the calls, then stand inspection with the company and everything else. I get up at 6 AM and just keep stepping right along until 10 and after at night. The Bugle school is about 3 or 3 ½ miles away so that's a pretty good walk. I played hookey the first day and got caught, so the Lieutenant has been riding my tail ever since. I'll bet I was the maddest guy in all France that day I came back from school. The first day I didn't get back in time to play Guard Mount or anything else. I tried to tell the Lieutenant about a few things and he wouldn't listen to me. He saw I was sore so he walks off and leaves me.

So I took my old bugle in the office and told them they could have the thing, and to take the job off my hands for I am finished, toots weet. But there was no one else in the company who can blow it, so I had to go ahead. So I thought I would play hookey again the next day, but that Looey stayed right on my tail, so I had to beat it to school again. I've got more bosses than a dog has fleas. Everybody from the top kick up to the Major tries to ride me, ha! Ha!

One night I played Retreat two minutes too early and a couple of Second Looeys come up about seven minutes too late and laid the blame on the Bugler. So last evening the Captain didn't wait for the time. He called the company to "Attention" and "Parade Rest." So I have to play it 3 or 4 minutes early again. So the Top Sarge rides me for playing it but, of course, the Captain's orders are higher than the Top Sergeant's so I have the best of the argument. Tonight one of these Second Lieutenants has charge of the company at Retreat, so he tries to start things off too early again. So after he gets real sore I played it 3 minutes ahead of time and again here comes the Top Sarge to ride me again. I told them that the town major writes my orders and from now on I am going to play Retreat exactly on the scratch, and if they don't want to wait, that they can go ahead with the ceremonies and I'll be along when the time comes. And that there'd be no more of this bullying the Bugler. So I don't care if it's raining brimstone I don't play that piece till the second hand points to 60 exactly at 5:30 P.M. So that's a little outline of the life of a Bugler, ha!

That's all we are doing now, just ragging each other around while the boat is coming. I can hear the ships whistle at Bordeaux every once in awhile and it sounds pretty nice. Hope how soon mine whistles, ha! Ha! Will answer soon. As ever your son,

Bugler L. McCoy
93 Co. 21 Grand Division
Transportation Corps
APO 705, AEF
St. Andre De Cubzae, France