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Mike Nowatzki, Published October 27 2009

Dismissed West Fargo bugler moves to Warroad

A bugler who left West Fargo on a sour note after the local VFW club told her it no longer required her services said she’s excited about the opportunity to play taps in a different city.

Alex Davis, who has been blind since birth, moved last weekend to Warroad, Minn., where she will participate in honor guard during military funerals as needed by the American Legion and VFW.

“If I couldn’t have it, I don’t know what I’d do,” she said. “I mean, it’s just my life. It’s my passion.”

Davis belongs to Bugles Across America, a network of volunteers who believe veterans deserve a live rendition of taps. She also belongs to the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Warroad and drilled with her unit on Saturday.

The 23-year-old New Hampshire native had been playing taps for West Fargo VFW Post 7564 for about two years when she was told recently that club members would be handling all of the honor guard duties, including playing taps using a bugle fitted with an electronic device.

Club officials clarified that the decision was made with no malice or disrespect toward Davis and that she had done a good job as bugler for Post 7564.

The American Legion and VFW clubs in Warroad don’t have a so-called “digital bugle,” and they always use a live bugler, said American Legion club manager Neil Richards.

The clubs have been fortunate to have high school students and others willing to play taps, Richards said, adding that Davis is “more than welcome” to add her name to the list of those on call.

“She certainly will have an opportunity to play the bugle for us,” he said.

Davis said her parents were going to pay for her to fly home to New Hampshire for Christmas, but they gave her the money instead to help her get settled in Warroad. She still plans to head east in March to visit her father, an Army National Guard sergeant, before he deploys to the Middle East in April.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528