By Elizabeth A. King
It wasn’t just any day for Karen Weaver and the Johnson County ham radio operators as they gathered at their headquarters on Berry Branch Road to have dinner and share stories of how members get along. are familiar with HAM radio and what it meant to them.
The event featured special guests including Senator Rusty Crowe, Supervisory Special Agent/Chief Security Officer Julia McKee, Special Agent Shane Ratliff, Mayor Larry Potter and Sheriff Edward “Eddie” Tester.
Crowe and Reedy presented a resolution honoring TN amateur radio operators. Crowe spoke proudly of the organization providing enormous value to the community as they are proficient in emergency communications, which could very well be the “last line of defense in communications,” as Crowe explained. . Crowe recalled his time in the military deciphering enemy communications.
After the ceremony, a demonstration was conducted with Crowe, McKee, Ratliff and others on how radios are used.
A very clear call came from Cheyenne, Wyoming, and another from California. It was as clear as having a conversation on your cell phone, except the entire room could easily make out the conversation. Weaver graciously circled special guests around the compound, proudly pointing out how self-sufficient this group would be if dire conditions presented themselves.
HAM radios work without cell towers, Wi-Fi and other modern mechanisms that modern society depends on to communicate. When properly stored in a cage, amateur radios will withstand an EMP. Since these radios operate independently of cell towers, they could save a life if normal communication methods are down or out of reach for various reasons. With radio wave frequencies, cell towers are obsolete when transmitting weather, accidents, downed power lines, downed trees, and medical conditions.
It seems everyone agreed that young people in Johnson County should be given the opportunity to learn more about becoming ham radio operators because young people are key to the future and current members of the club will have need
someone to pass the torch to eventually.
As each attending club member received their official signed and sealed resolution, the evening continued with stories filled with fond memories and testimonies of how far they were able to reach another operator. From Australia to Russia, and even to Space
Station, amateur radio
operators are ready to serve their community and state when called upon. It’s a
a benefit that is worth twice its weight in gold here in our backyard.
The resolution was signed by Senator Rusty Crowe, Representative Jay Reedy, Senate Speaker Randy McNally, Speaker of the House of Representatives Cameron Sexton and Governor Bill Lee.