I saw the letter and your response in the December 2010 Microwaves & RF regarding the editorial, "Ham Radio Is Alive And Well." Tim Russell describes me almost perfectly I wanted to be a Ham as long as I can remember. I briefly flirted with the medical field, but once I was licensed at 13, I was hooked. Years later, at the Naval Academy, the only question was whether I was going to major in electrical engineering or electrical engineering and mathematics. My practical experience from being a Ham served me well as an EE student, and I still feel like I graduated with EEs who would burn themselves if you handed them a plugged-in soldering iron. My experience as a Ham and the EE training served me well in my naval career, ranging from a junior officer responsible for instrumentation in a naval nuclear reactor plant to command of my own ship to being a Reactor Officer in a NIMITZclass aircraft carrier.

In the community, my wife, sons, and I have been involved in emergency communications and public service events for many years. I'll never forget the thousands of phone patches I ran for Navy people deployed overseas (pre-Internet, e-mail, and satellite telephone). At one point, the city where we lived wouldn't license a parade or public event unless the organizers had enlisted our radio club for coordination and communications.

I encourage you to do the study that Tim Russel advocates. It is an important subject; this country is already in dire need of engineers, and it's only going to get worse in the next few years as people retire. If ham radio can get young people interested in math and science and then engineering, that is a good thing. Your study and published results could be a real shot in the arm for the nation.

James A. Sanford, PE
Captain US Navy (Ret.)
Senior Member, IEEE

There was an error in the article "Suppliers Keep Stock of Key Parts" in the September 2010 Defense Electronics. 4 Star Electronics is not an authorized distributor for Analog Devices, Inc (ADI). For ADI's authorized distributors, go to:

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