I have been involved in the hobby of shortwave radios since I was 12 years old. I was given a small Emerson transistor radio with a single shortwave band, and I was hooked. At 14, I was awarded a novice license, and now I have the highest license, “Extra” class. Through my decades of patrol and later coroner detective work, this hobby was crucial for me to be able to stay well-balanced.
My hobby has allowed me to travel around the world and talk to all kinds of people from many walks of life without ever leaving my radio room (or “shack” in ham radio-speak). It has also given me a knowledge of geography and many other languages — you don’t need to be fluent in Swahili to be able to recognize key phrases to get by. It’s a real window to the world and other cultures and provides hours of relaxation. That’s vital for any law enforcement professional who is exposed to the stress and adrenaline of the job. My radios bring me into contact with positive people who enjoy doing the same thing. When I am “on the air,” I escape from the dark, tragic and seedier side of life.
What hobby helps you unwind from stress on the job? Send a photo and short description to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.