Musical Marion Owens wrote this letter home, and the Skidmore News published it in its November 8, 1917 edition:
From Marion Owens
November 6, 1917
Dear Sir, I want to thank you for the paper you have been so kind to send. The happiest time here is when the letters and the News come.
I have seen some of this wonderful country of ours since I have been in the service. I was with Sousa in New York, Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburgh, and most all the principal cities of the East.
I was in the state of Wisconsin two weeks with a band for the Liberty Loan cause. Was sure glad to see the way Skidmore responded to the call for buying Liberty Bonds. It shows the kind of people that live in and about Skidmore.
All the boys here have been moved into the barracks for the winter, we have steel lockers for our clothes and sleep in hammocks. There is not a night passes without somebody falling out of the hammock. They hang eight feet from the floor and that is enough to wake you up when you hit the deck.
The band is divided into six different bands and stationed at the different camps. I am detailed in band A at the main station.
Last Sunday evening I saw Paul Karr and Douglas Haynes. I hardly knew them at first. Ralston McClain is in the same barracks with me. The first day I saw him he was on sentry duty.
The bugle is blowing a call now that makes you stop what you are doing; it is the mess call.
Give my best regards to all.
Marion Owens, Band A, U.S. Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois.