The future is an abstraction, the ‘present’ but a fleeting moment, all else history
Today I got the opportunity to conduct another phone interview with a radio amateur who served in World War II. The gentleman has been a licensed ham for 72 years and still has an active license. I found his name in a pre-World War II QST. He’d written a letter after he’d answered the call to duty and had been sent to Fort Monmouth, NJ to undergo training in the Signal Corps. His letter to QST laid out the process of what a ham would experience once he made the jump from the civilian world into the Army. I wanted to ask him about his experiences during training, had there been other hams in his unit? Did his amateur radio skills help him become a better Army signalman? Where was he sent after Fort Monmouth? Europe… the Pacific? The gentleman had served his country along with our greatest generation and I wanted to honor his service by hearing his war stories. Unfortunately the years had eroded his memories and he couldn’t recall much more than that he had been in the Army for five years and had briefly served at Fort Monmouth. He immediately recalled his holding of an amateur radio ticket for 72 years and it was heartening to think that amateur radio had played a major part in his long life. I sincerely thanked him for his service to our nation but was somewhat saddened by the fact that his wartime experiences are lost in the shadows of history.