I read with great interest the recent letters to the editor submitted by Mr. Day and Mr. Carey Jr., who represent Bugles Across America. Their interest in promoting live bugles during ceremonies is most commendable. However, they also used the terms "faker" and the use of a bugle insert as a "disgrace to four million men and women who have given their lives for our country."
During the year 2000, our Congress authorized at least two uniformed veterans and a CD that can play "Taps" to render honors for our deceased veterans. The Payson Military Honor Guard took those instructions a step further and purchased, at its own expense, an insert for the bugle. Since we have no musicians on the Honor Guard, the insert provided a smooth tone for veteran services, as opposed to a non-musician trying to play cracked notes, to the embarrassment of all and certainly a hollow tribute to the deceased. The gentlemen, and I use the term lightly, attacked a fine veteran who freely gives of his time to attend all services and travels to the Valley once a week, at his own expense, to coordinate Honor Guard activities for Payson and Northeast Arizona. Further, Mr. Moore is a volunteer Payson Police officer and gives freely of his time to many activities that promote the Town of Payson.
Two years ago, this past October, a group of veterans got together to discuss what could be done for our deceased veterans. Often, the Valley could not send representatives, including a bugler, to our community due to time, distance and the fact of conducting several hundred services throughout the State. Many on the Honor Guard purchased their respective military uniforms at their own expense, gave up travel plans and personal time to provide a dignified service to all veterans, regardless of rank.
If we have a musician among readers of this article, it is my sincere wish that they volunteer for the Honor Guard, in hopes of making our services even more meaningful. As for Mr. Day (Gabriel) and Mr. Carey Jr. (Zeus), I recommend they maintain their lofty perch on Mount Olympus and "toot their own horn."
Phillip E. Prince, Major, U.S. Marine Corps, Ret.