When it was announced by the military several days ago that it would accept messages from amateur radio operators to the boys in Vietnam, David Novel of Vineyard Haven, long a ham operator, decided to do something about it.
First he got a list from the Gazette of those Vineyard boys now serving in Vietnam and then telephoned their parents. Of the five boys now over there, Mr. Nobel has heard from the parents of three. Their messages are now on their long trip across the Pacific.
To send a message, Mr. Nobel radios it to Otis Air Force Base, where it is turned over to MARS, the Massachusetts Amateur Radio System, and it is relayed to California, Hawaii, and then to Vietnam. It takes two days for a message to reach its destination.
So far messages are on their way to Michael Colaneri of Vineyard Haven, James Marshall of Oak Bluffs, and Gordon Bassett of Edgartown,
Mr. Nobel has been told to be on the alert for messages coming from Vietnam. He does occasionally get messages from abroad, but none has ever come in directly from Vietnam. These have always come through the military and are relayed to the hams.
Mr. Noble said, “At Christmastime we thought these boys would like to hear from their parents, and giving them a little happiness makes Christmas happier for us.” Then he added, “If I was over there I would want someone to do something like that for me!”