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Fort Bragg Tones Down Bugle Calls to Mute Complaints

Posted February 8, 2008

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— A week after switching daily bugle calls to a louder speaker system, Fort Bragg officials have turned down the volume on early morning and late-night calls in response to noise complaints.

Because the old speaker system that used to sound bugle calls across the sprawling Army base was in such bad condition, making it difficult to hear the calls, Fort Bragg officials last week began sounding the daily calls on the base's "Giant Voice" system, which previously was reserved for announcing emergencies.

The move prompted complaints from soldiers and their families living on base and from nearby residents, who said they were awakened by "first call" and reveille at 6:15 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., respectively, and by taps at 11 p.m.

"It's so loud that it'll wake everybody up," Tricia Kipe said. "My husband's a soldier ... but that doesn't mean that we want to get up at 6 o'clock in the morning just because they want to hear their little thing."

Fort Bragg sounds bugle calls seven times daily Monday through Saturday and eight times on Sunday.

In response to the complaints, base spokesman Tom McCollum said, only five of the 21 Giant Voice speakers would be used for the bugle calls, and the volume would be turned down on the early morning and late-night calls.

"The majority of the calls we have received have been very supportive of our efforts to bring these traditional bugle calls back," McCollum said. "We've had 15 callers who complained about the volume of the calls, though. Most have been from family members living here, and some have come from people living next to us. We understand their concerns, and since we have the ability to make adjustments without ending the broadcasts all together, we have made these adjustments."

Pvt. Nicholas Wix said he appreciates hearing the daily calls.

"Now that I can actually hear them ... it makes me feel good," Wix said. "If I'm driving, I'll stop my car and pull over to show respect for the flag."

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