Author/lecturer Joseph Campbell spoke of finding one's "passion" in life. The American Heritage Dictionary lists "Boundless enthusiasm and the object of such enthusiasm" as one meaning of "passion." Another, in my words, is that to which we put our energies and interests and feel deeply rewarded in the act of doing.
There are many FCC licensed Amateurs who dedicate their life to their passion for the public-service aspect of Amateur Radio. It's time we wrote about them. Here's one person with whom I've had the opportunity to witness, and to serve alongside during some of his service in the ACS, ARES, and RACES: Bill Pennington, WA6SLA, first licensed in l962 as WN8FPN.
Bill's first response as an EMCOMM volunteer was in the late l970s to a USAF F-111 crash in Yolo County CA. This was at McClellan Air Force Base as a Base Support Team Member of the Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS). Earlier, from the mid to late '70s he taught classes for Novice, Technician, and General licenses.
His next response was to a civilian incident to provide VHF phone patching between State OES and the Fresno County (CA) Amateurs during the Coalinga earthquake aftermath (late '70s).
Over the years he has participated directly as a responder for CDF VIP (California Department of Forestry Volunteers in Prevention), ACS/RACES and ARES, and indirectly in Amateur Radio response to and for several major CDF fire campaigns: the BLM Lewiston fire, the USFS Cleveland Corral fire; the Oakland Hills Fire, the floods of '86, '95, and '97, both the Loma Prieta and Northridge Earthquakes, and the Emery DC-8 Air Crash in Rancho Cordova.
He also served as Emergency Coordinator for the MARS Base Support Team at McClellan AFB, Sacramento, CA, before retiring from the Air Force in 1989. (Other career positions that followed included technician in the water-treatment field, four years as a two-way- radio technician, and four years for the California State OES Warning Center as an Emergency Notification Controller.)
(Continues next bulletin, next week.)