Veteran ABC Radio Networks commentator Paul Harvey this week offered some kind words for Amateur Radio. The mention was the second item on "page four" of his March 19, 2003 Paul Harvey Noon News and Comment program.

"America's quiet warriors are the legion of ham radio operators, 700,000 of them, who are always at ready for backup duty in emergencies--amateur, unpaid, uncelebrated, civilian radio operators, during and after floods and fires and tornadoes," Harvey said. "After the 9/11 attacks, hams were indispensable in reuniting families. Most recently it was they who expedited the search for debris after the disaster to the space shuttle Columbia, and right now, at this moment, they are involved in homeland security to a greater degree than you would want me to make public."

The commentary's enigmatic and mysterious final sentence--typical of Harvey's habit of leaving his listeners hanging--apparently refers to the fact that many Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and Radio Amateur Emergency Service (RACES) teams have ramped up their alert status as hostilities get under way in the Middle East.