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Amateur Radio: Honoring Veterans on the Air and Mobile/Portable Fun

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Over the past weekend, I did what I’ve done every Veterans Day weekend since I earned my General Class Amateur Radio License, I joined other amateur radio operators on the air to support our nation’s Veterans through special event stations.  This year, due to work, I was unable to help with the B-17 special event station at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum so I searched out Veterans Day special event stations with the mobile station and home station.

On Saturday afternoon, I operated with the mobile station from Brunswick.   Band conditions started off good but seemed to decline as the afternoon progressed; I worked two Veterans Day stations but the others I heard, although strong, couldn’t hear me.  The first Veterans Day station heard was W0FSB.  The Five Sullivan Brothers Amateur Radio Club in Waterloo, Iowa was honoring Veterans Day, remembering the Five Sullivan Brothers, and honoring the 237th birthday of the US Marine Corps. The Five Sullivan Brothers of Waterloo, IA were killed in World War II when the ship they all served on, the USS Juneau (CL-52), was sunk during the battle for Guadalcanal in 1942.  Later in the afternoon I worked the Emporia Amateur Radio Society of Emporia, Kansas; they were operating as K0V to honor Veterans Day and Emporia as the birthplace of Veterans Day.

K0V coming in loud and clear with a 59 signal through the mobile station on Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday afternoon, before going to the Effingham County Veterans Day Ceremony I worked two more Veterans Day special event stations from the home station.  The first was W5KID, the USS Kidd (DD-661) Amateur Radio Club; they were operating from the amateur radio station aboard the USS Kidd in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  I’ve worked the USS Kidd many times in the past and it’s always a pleasure to do it again because the ship really is a link to the past; she’s been restored to her World War II configuration rather than exhibiting later modifications.  I also worked, K9TAL, the American Legion Amateur Radio Club in Indianapolis, Indiana; they too were operating to honor our Veterans from the American Legion Headquarters.  Later in the afternoon, it was good to see a great turnout from local American Legion members at the Effingham County Veterans Day ceremony.

While not Veterans Day related, it’s also worth mentioning that I worked a special event station that one of my fellow hams on Twitter organized.  Robert Keller, AC8GE was operating W8B from the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock in Sugarcreek, Ohio.  W8B was also recognizing the start of construction on Sugarcreek’s Brick Wall Sculpture Project.  I actually worked Robert twice over the weekend, once from the mobile station on Saturday and again on Sunday from the home station.  Robert was operating with a Buddistick portable antenna on 20 Meters, which was the band I worked him on both days.  On Saturday, we had a good 59 (excellent signal quality) conversation from my mobile station with an HVT-400B antenna to his portable station using the Buddistick; it was proof positive that huge antenna arrays and amplifiers aren’t required to have fun on HF!


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