East Texas Ham radio group remembers Columbia tragedy, recovery

Published: Feb. 8, 2009 at 12:39 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2009 at 1:02 AM CST
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NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When disaster strikes in East Texas, the people are not easily shaken.  Instead, they step up and step out to help in any way possible.

From Canada, down to Texas, Nacogdoches Ham Operators have been traveling all day by radio.

Public Information Officer of Nacogdoches Amateur Radio Club, John Chapman said, "All across the United States we've talked to people, and most everybody has said thanks for the special event stations, and thanks for taking the time to remember."

Today, these Ham Operators are remembering those seven fallen astronauts of the shuttle Columbia.  However, they are also thanking those involved in the space ship recovery.

As debris scattered across East Texas, Ham Operators were on the scene, helping to keep the lines of communication open.

"We provide back up and background communications so that the city and the county can make good calls and judgments on what they need to do," Chapman explained.

The commemorative event is a reminder of how important their job really is.

"A reminder to the other Ham radio operators that many of the emergencies that arise will be sudden and profound and we should all be ready at almost any moment to lend assistance in anyway required," another radio operator said.

During the recovery mission, more than 100 operators came in to help the Nacogdoches Hamatures.