The Weekly North Texas net for YLs

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Blog - One Phenomenal Young YLs Journey Into Hamdom

I first had the pleasure to hear Destiny Cosner, KG5MRD, as net control down on the Johnson County News, Information and Training Net. (Sunday nights at 7:30 on 145.49 (pl88.5).)

Not only was she a YL, she was a heckuva net control operator, and to my ears, she sounded very young. As the weeks rolled by, I heard more and more of her until finally, I could stand it no longer. I had to know who she was. So I contacted her to see if she would be interested in doing a YL Spotlight for the YL NTX Weekly Net.

Bless her heart, she said "yes" and we put it on the schedule.

I should mention we scheduled it for the day after Christmas.

And, as luck would have it, it also coincided with a Monday Night Dallas Cowboy game. Most irritating! Nobody really wanted to miss the game, so on a whim, Shelly (KC5MGY), Destiny and I hatched a plan. We would meet someplace with lots of really big TV screens and good food and we would run the entire net from my truck. (What can I say? It's Texas. Football is a *thing* here, net or no net.)

I know, crazy, right? K5ORN told me one day I'd be doing nets from my vehicle but I didn't believe him...

Anyway, the plan was simple, we'd get there early enough to get a table near a TV, order appetizers and food. Shelly would do NC for the first half of the net, Destiny would do the spotlight and I would NC for the second half of the net. That way nobody missed much of the game, we still got our food and big tv screens, and Shelly and I finally got to meet Destiny in person.

This should give you an inkling of how flexible Destiny is... she never even batted an eyelash, she was in. I'm happy to say we had a great time, the Cowboys won, AND we had 15 check-ins on the 26th of December when I pretty much figured everyone would be out of town... but whaddya know... they weren't! Which was nice, since everyone got to "meet" Destiny.

In this day and age when we are all worried that ham radio is popular only with men over the age of 50, she's a breath of fresh air.

Ladies and gents, in her own words, meet Destiny...

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My favorite present this year, besides getting to take my CHL class, is my new fidget cube. It’s a little plastic cube with lots of switches, buttons, knobs, and other things to fiddle with in your hand. The boyfriend apparently thinks I fidget too much. Unfortunately for him, he didn't think to buy me the quiet one, so I'll be clicking away. We'll see how long that lasts!

I work as an Tarrant County EMT, but I love helping out at the Johnson County EOC when I can. I enjoy being net operator for the training net and I've learned quite a bit. I’m getting better, but they are still having to remind me to slow down. I have also been banned from using the phrase “alrighty” more than a few times in one session.

I'm still a rookie, but I’ve known about ham radio for a long time.

My parents are both ham operators back in WA state where I grew up. My dad started a few years before 1980 after joining with the county Search and Rescue team. My mom learned of ham radio from her father, and sometime in the early 1980s she got her license. She joined search and rescue a few years later and met my father.

Fun fact: My dad still has his red zone pass from his trip up Mt. St. Helens in April of 1980. He was communications for the scientists going up to the ridge just before it had it’s major eruption in May of that year.

So I grew up listening to all these stories and all the usual radio chatter. Dad was always on the radio in the truck. Mom had a mobile in the car, as well. I still remember one particular evening when I was quite young, talking to my grand parents in Montana from the radio in the back room, and asking when I would get to have my license.

Unfortunately, life got busy and I lost interest for a while. I graduated high school, moved out on my own and ended up in Texas. At that point, I wanted to get my license. I didn't have the contacts to find a class or a place to test, so it took a couple of years before I asked the right person and managed to find my way into the world of ham radio. Thanks to KE5AWF and KB5YBI, who I would definitely considered my elmers. They helped get me the resources to start out and I took off from there.

I hadn’t told tell my parents yet that I was actually studying and getting ready to test. I passed and not so patiently waited at the computer watching to see the minute my call sign popped up on the FCC website. As soon as it came in, I called my dad up and asked if he could look up a callsign up for me. Needless to say they were pretty excited and proud of me. It was even more fun calling them up just a month or two later saying, “Oh! By the way, I just passed the test for general”. Dad was slightly jealous that I didn’t have to pass morse code and of course, mom was already asking when I would test for extra… In due time! I’m still trying to finish my degree.

Having the call sign as your license plate is a huge pride thing with my family. For father’s day this year, I sent them a framed poster sized picture for the living room. We all had pickups at the time, so it was a collage of all three of our tailgates with our license plates. Stretched across the middle was written “We love our Ham family”. And it’s true, the world of ham radio is really one big family, and I am happy to be a part of it.