Long recognized as a valuable service to the community in times of disaster and sometimes the only line of communication during earthquakes and similar disasters, amateur radio goes way beyond what what many people seemingly equate this hobby with: CB'ers. (While the term is not necessarily a slam, being referred as a CB'er usually has a negative connotation.)
Actually "hams" are much more than CB'ers. As far as the term amateur, I would prefer the term that I have heard put forth in some ham forums: "Professional Radio Operator". This would be especially helpful when an amateur radio club is trying to secure agreements (such as a Memorandum of Understanding for emergency communication services) with "served" agencies or municipal governments. City leaders often know very little, if anything, about emergency communications. They certainly don't want anyone running around on the streets in a real emergency who is an "amateur"...hence our very name lends a problem right up front. Perhaps we should be called radio "professionals", not amateurs.
One of the most famous hams (who did much for the hobby) was the late Senator Barry Goldwater, callsign K7UGA. I obtained this nice bold autograph from him several years ago, on the 1964 Amateur Radio Commemorative First Day Cover. He was always very accomodating to fellow hams and was a good signer. I really appreciate the fact he added his callsign adjacent to his autograph-makes it much more collectable to a ham..
Amateur Radio operators served an important role in disaster relief efforts and emergency communications
following the 1964 Alaska Earthquake. This commemorative stamp was issued later that same year, partly in
recognition of their efforts in the earthquake and other natural disasters.
I hold an Advanced Class FCC Amateur radio license (my original callsign was KBØCPU. Many locals will remember when I used the on-air /temporary KT extension. I caught flak that I was trying to set the record for the longest elapsed time between passing novice class and upgrading to technician. I may indeed be that recordholder! But then I moved up to Advanced class in less than two years. Hmmm...) I now hope to get my Extra before April, 2000, so I can say I earned it the hard way.
Amateur Radio has a long and proud tradition of service to the community. Find out more at the ARRL's homepage at www.arrl.com
Interested in becoming a ham yourself, or want more information? You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call them toll-free at 1-800-325-3942 and ask them to send you their "Prospective Ham Package". If you are in the immediate Joplin, Missouri area, I recommend that you contact the Joplin Amateur Radio Club at the link I have provided below and inquire about any classes they might be having for new hams.
ARES is a public service organization of the American Radio Relay League, consisting of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment to supply communications when disaster strikes or for public events, in the interest of informing amateurs and the general public concerning the operations and programs designed as a public service in times of emergencies and special events. ARES groups in all United States are dedicated to serving the communities in which we live, working hand in hand with the American Red Cross, local and state governments, and other nonprofit, community-service organizations. ARES provides emergency communications when all normal means of communications have failed due to storm damage or being jammed by overuse. Visit the national ARES page at http://www.ares.org
If you are reside in the immediate Jasper County, Missouri/Tri-State area of Southwest Missouri, Northwest Oklahoma, and Southeast Kansas - you may want to check out the Jasper County ARES' website at http://www.geocities.com/jasco_ares/
My old Favorite Hamzine (click on image to visit their site) No longer in publication, but their site still says under construction?
The Joplin Amateur Radio Club can be visited at www.joplin-arc.org/
Like my college instructor NØPZT, I too was President of JARC a few years ago. Can you say "too many irons in the fire?". While editor of their newsletter, then called the JARC REPEATER, in 1995, I recieved a rating of "good" from the Amateur Radio News Service, and a rating of "excellent" in 1996.
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This page last updated 08-12-2001