When I was pregnant with my middle son, Nathanael, I took my test to become an Amateur radio operator. I took a class for like 6 weeks, took the test and failed. I missed passing by like one or two questions. I was upset. I tried to play it off like it wasn't important, but I was highly disappointed. So then and there I vowed that I was done. Then a very close friend of mine kept sending me out storm spotting. He knew that eventually I would get frustrated when I couldn't get the information that I saw to him.
Now that I have been a HAM for 7 years, I love it. I have taken on great responsibility. I am the Public Information officer for the ARES, TSARG, and I am helping my boyfriend with his duties as president of the TSARG. Having my license has been wonderful. I have met a ton of people that I wouldn't have met ordinarily. I am volunteering with an amazing group of people. Most of all, I can help others during a disaster communicate to others.
Being a HAM is a huge responsibility. You have to obey the rules laid out by the federal government. You have to show courtesy to others when you are on the air. Must respect the person you are talking to. It means that you have a greater responsibility to yourself to be respectful and honor who you are.
On the flip side of the coin, being a Ham can be fun. You get to talk to people all around the world. Amateur radio operators are the most interesting group to be around. There are fun contests. One is Field day. We are always trying to get others to join us. My 9 year old son wants to get his license too! Eventually, I hope all my kids show an interest in getting theirs. We hope that we can entice others to join this exclusive group.
This is what being a Ham means to me!!
Melissa Wilkerson KE5BJO