Social Distancing. Solution + Problem
For most of us right now, social distancing is a solution that'll be but a bad memory in a few months. When it is all said and done, we will go back to our normal routines - work, school, parties, nights out with friends and families. Resiliency is one of the great things about our country. We have a long history of bouncing back.
But for many of our veterans social distancing is - and has been - a problem with no easy fix. The long term social distancing brought on by physical and mental trauma affects a lot of our veterans. While we can be a little light hearted about the problems facing the world right now, social distancing is a real problem for many veterans who served our country and will continue long after Covid-19 runs its course.
Amateur Radio wrote the book on Social Distancing.
Amateur Radio as a community has a level of expertise when it comes to social distancing. We operate -mostly in solitary- in our shacks, outside chasing satellites, or climbing mountains... but all in the name of making contacts, not preventing them. In our collective experience and by the very nature of our hobby we use the tools, knowledge, and technology to close the distance between us, and even more so now during these times of #socialdistancing.
What we can do.
I've been following a local story of one of our fellow operators, Martin / KI4CFS / @martinbrossman, who was able to arrange travel for a not so local US Veteran who had spent a good deal of time studying for his technician's license but had no way to get to testing. Through a series of contacts and Martin's persistence, this socially distant veteran is now on the air and hopefully beginning to realize the social benefits that the hobby has to offer. Martin talks more about the difficulties that social distancing causes veterans a recent YouTube post.
I recognize that social distancing is a big problem for many and there are no easy or complete solutions. But I do think that we are in a position to help out in some small way. All profits from the sales of our "We Wrote the Book" tees will go to help veterans get on the air with training, transportation and transceivers. Free Shipping on that shirt, plus anything else you purchase at the same time.
Some other things you can do:
- Do you know a veteran who has is already on the air but may be socially isolated? Take some time today to reach out to them on or off the air.
- Do you know a veteran who could benefit from the social aspects that amateur radio has to offer? Reach out and see if you can get them interested in amateur radio. Then reach out to me and let's get them on the air.
- Do you have some older but working transceivers that we can get in the hands of veterans? Let me know and we can arrange paying for postage.
- Can you help with training? Anyone with a little bit of experience in amateur radio can help on-board a veteran. Can you help transport a veteran to local training sessions or VE Testing? Let's get you connected. We can help pay for your fuel.
- Know someone connected with one of the big national distributors or retailers? Lets see about getting them involved in getting equipment in the hands of our veterans who want to get on the air.
- Have some other ideas how Part 97 can partner with you, or your organization or club? Reach out to me directly and let's get a conversation started.
- Finally, are you a veteran and need help getting on the air? Contact me directly and we will do everything we can to help you get licensed, outfitted and transmitting.
Finally, are you a veteran and need help getting on the air? Contact me directly and we will do everything we can to help you get licenced, outfitted and transmitting.
--jack //. KI4KEP