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July 23, 2016

Liam and I took our General test today at the Lakeland Hamfest.  We passed!  Thanks to all the Hams on the Old Goat Network who were wishing us well.  Thanks also to the Hams of LARC for their support and for administering the test.

73


One of my dad’s biggest regrets is not becoming a HAM radio operator until the age of 70.  He got his Technician license, six months later his General, and then a year and a half later his Extra. He studied more when he was 70 than he ever had in high school.   His “man cave” has now become the “shack.” Once filled with Elvis memorabilia and guitars, it now houses all of his radio paraphernalia.  Robert Kagel is now known as KM4DIS.

 Within two years my 8 year old son, Liam Holzer, would catch the HAM bug.  When he visited my dad, he would listen to check-in on the Old Goat Network.  He became fast friends with Joe, KK6BS, network manager.  He loved to talk to Joe via KM4DIS and enjoyed listening to the other Goats talk about him.  Dad set Liam up with a DX440 radio so he could monitor HAM calls at home in Lakeland. With Joe’s encouragement Liam decided he wanted to be a HAM. 

In order for Liam to learn HAM, I would need to study this foreign language with him.  It was an arduous task for someone like me who knew nothing about radio waves.  However, as every mother knows, you sacrifice for your kids.  Liam, his dad, and I studied everyday for four months in between homework and swim practices.  We studied from ARRL books and took practice tests on various websites until the day before the test.

Last March, we attended the Stuart Hamfest hosted by the Martin County Amateur Radio Association.  Liam was excited as a jumping bean when we entered the testing site.  We signed in and then we were given our tests.  When Liam turned his test in, he focused intently on the three testing administrators as they graded his test.  They had a hard time keeping a poker face when they realized he had passed.  When he was told that he had passed, tears of relief filled his eyes, as well as mine.  We hugged each other and then quickly went to find KM4DIS to tell him the good news, while my husband continued on to take the General exam.

I have a new appreciation for amateur radio as it has taught my son the value of working hard to achieve a difficult goal.  It has also given my family a life –long hobby that we can all enjoy.  The best thing, though, is to not only see a bond form between a grandfather and his grandson but also to be able hear it through the radio waves.

Thanks to dad for all of his love and support in our new adventure.  Thank you Joe, KK6BS, and the Old Goats.  I expect Liam will have his General in another year and will be burning up your network.  Thanks to the Stuart Hamfest and the Martin County Amateur Radio Association.

73  Liam Holzer KM4STS  Aimee Holzer KM4STT and Leon Holzer KM4STU.

7663737 Last modified: 2016-10-29 20:14:39, 3040 bytes

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