The main purpose of ham radio is communication, in both good times and bad. Organizations like The American Legion Amateur Radio Club (TALARC) exist to connect members to each other and other organizations, in order to get messages through.
Those connections came in handy recently, when a 75-year-old longtime ham operator facing his final weeks made a wish known to conduct one more CQ, or radio call.
John Nugent lives in the Green House veterans housing complex at the Lovell Federal Healthcare Center in North Chicago, Ill. He served with the Army Signal Corps during the Vietnam War, and has cancer. When he made his last request known to Lovell staff, among the groups they contacted was The American Legion.
TALARC Vice President Bill Sloan sent a targeted email to Legion Family TALARC members in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and beyond asking for help with Nugent’s request. From there, a flurry of other emails went out to other organizations the members have connections to.
Legionnaires connected to the North Shore Radio Club passed the message on, and from there to the Lake County RACES/ARES organization. RACES/ARES works under the Lake County Emergency Management Agency, which ultimately assisted Nugent with his last call. But as David Hartnett, RACES/ARES treasurer and assistant secretary, put it, the Legion was included “hoping some of [the] distant members could get on the air.”
As always, TALARC members were happy to oblige.