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HAM/Amateur radio community

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by two fingers, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    So, I am taking a communications class at school. We are spending some time on amateur radio because out teacher has his license. Upon studying some of the antennas I noticed a house right behind mine with a couple mounted on a shack out back. (I'm trying to move the story forward quickly so it may come across a bit "choppy".) I knocked on the door and introduced myself and asked the old guy if he minded showing me his ham setup. We talked for a couple hours and I was fascinated. He has all kinds of awards and has contacted every single county in the nation SIX times.

    Fast forward....... He invited me to a local amateur radio club meeting. I went last night. These guys are impressive. They pledge to the flag before every meeting. They conduct the meeting with old school etiquette. They are patriotic givers. They participate in all kinds of fund raisers, volunteer to track bikers on rides for charity, and spring into action when all other communications fail in an emergency.

    And here is where it got really interesting.

    Government regulations have pretty much forced many of them out of any official readiness organizations. These old guys have been at it for decades, and yet to be able to VOLUNTEER your services in an emergency, you now have to take four courses, apply for additional licenses, and subject yourself to both criminal AND FINANCIAL background checks. Well, any of these guys could cakewalk through the courses. None of them are criminals. But they feel strongly about not subjecting themselves to financial background checks to be able to help in an emergency (and I don't blame them...... it's ridiculous). Many are doctors and lawyers. They don't have financial skeletons in their closets. It's just a privacy issue.

    So, here's what they spent all night doing. They clearly understand that the network set up by the government is doomed to fail in the event of an emergency (never mind the technical lingo but let's just say they are right to suspect this). Rather than saying "screw them" and staying out of it, they decided to spend their own time, energy, and money to build THEIR OWN network in case of an emergency. In the event that the government network fails (and it will) and the government contacts the local ham community, they will be ready to jump in and assist in whatever capacity they are needed.

    People don't act like this any more. People don't THINK like this any more. They tucked their egos away and got to WORK on a SOLUTION rather than letting their pride dictate that they stay out of it.

    These old guys are the real deal. They have manners, back bones, knowledge, compassion, patriotism and leadership skills. I fear what will happen to this world when that generation is no longer here.
  2. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    Yep, there is a nice older guy, mid 70's, down my street who fits the description of the guys you are talking about. He has a bunch of short wave antennas in his back yard and a generator. In the event of a disaster, like a major earthquake here in California, there group kicks in with communications to the outside world.
  3. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    I hold a general ticket and two fingers is correct about the civility of MOST amateur operators.

  4. Fawkesguy

    Fawkesguy The sea refuses no river.

    Mar 5, 2005
    Yep two fingers, that's what a lot of us hams do. We're invisible to most of society. I'm glad you were exposed to what sounds like a great group of people.

  5. dieselbass


    May 15, 2010
    Davis CA
    +1. KA6ELA

    dad and I participated in some disaster drills in th 70's. He moved on to county hunting on 2 meter rig. We got out of the disaster deal when our volunteering was insufficient.
  6. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    That hobby has always fascinated me.

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