Originally Posted by daveb
So Mac what were you doing at 10:41 Zulu?
Tell us a story of a good or funny call.
It was 7:41 a.m. where I was.
It was strange listening in as military guys and gals called their families back home over the radio saying, "I love you, over", "I love you too, over." The only funny story I can remember is a lady who wrecked her husband's car. She was crying over the radio as I tried to locate her husband. She told me she didn't know how to tell her husband, saying "He's going to kill me." When I got a hold of her husband I told him about his car being wrecked before he ever got on the radio with his wife. He was great when he finally got on. He consoled his wife and told her it was no big deal. She cried the entire three minutes of air time. I don't think she said anything other than "over".
Back then MARS (Military Affiliated Radio Stations) calls were the only free
way servicemen could call home. The call was patched through over HAM from a station on the base to a state-side station. Usually we made our calls through a guy in Arizona (I wish I could remember his name) whose call sign was AFC6YPX. If you look closely in the picture you can see his call sign penciled on the board. He then called the serviceman's family on a land line. If I remember correctly, the long-distance phone charges were paid by Rockwell International. The state-side guy would listen in to the call on his end and I would listen to the call on my end, both of us flipping our switches to send or receive when we heard the person say "over".
I was separated from my wife for 13 months, and had it not been for the guy at AFC6YPX and Rockwell, I would have gone crazy not being able to talk to my wife. We had been married for barely one year when I was sent overseas. Surprisingly, after about three months I forgot what her voice sounded like. Since I had no voice memory, whenever I dreamed of her while asleep, I could not hear her talk. She would be talking in my dream, but I could not hear her. It was like a silent movie. That was very disheartening. Once I became a MARS operator I was able to talk to my wife every morning. Since I was the operator, I made my call to my wife first before making calls for others. Since I was a volunteer operator, that was the only perk. That and getting to listen in on people's phone calls. (And I got the sound back to my dreams)
Sorry, Chris, for the highjacking of this discussion stream. But it's been nice to reflect back to an important time in my past. It's why I cry every time I hear the National Anthem.