A pin badge has crossed the Pacific Ocean twice in almost 30 year interval

There used to be an active ham in San Francisco, Ray Eichmann, WA6IVM. He used to work with japanese beginners on 40m CW in our evening hours from '60s through '90s. For many CW beginners in Japan, he has been the very 1st ever DX or 1st ever USA. He was so kind that he always sent very slow CW to them. I was one of those beginners in '60s, even though he was not my 1st USA. In late '60s, I have donated 2 or 3 bucks to some DX pedition through him. He has paid the ARRL fee for a year for me on behalf of me, which must cost him much more than the donation I made. He also recommended me for a member of RCC. He was such a kind person.

When I came back on the air in 1980, I knew his son Steve, WA6IVN, in a suburb of San Francisco. We often talked on 40m in QRQ. What a thrill and enjoyment! He has had malignant lymphoma since his teen age days. I have been told about it and subsequent complications by him. It was not in rush but steadily progressive. Unfortunately, he has gone SK due to metastatic melanoma in early '90s. We have met in eye ball twice, once at his home in Manteca and the other time at Bob W6CYX's home. It was not easy for him to live with that illness. He has still lived his life so hard as if not to miss anything he could experience in it. 

Since steve's death, I and Ray have become closer friends each other. One factor might be that we had operated 40m CW at the same time in a day. It must be another reason that I had known his son so well in his last decade. I believe Steve was his only son. Ray, a famous ham of the USA in our country, used to visit Japan a few times, I believe, in '60s to '70s. He and his wife, Cathy, have planned a trip to Japan in mid '90s. I have welcomed them at Narita and have driven them here. We have held a reception party in Tokyo, which a few dozens of his old friends gathered. They seemed to be very happy to see old friends there. I believe they have visited a few places mainly in Kanto and Kansai area after that.

He has brought some souvenirs from the USA. One of them was a pin badge shown in the photo.

I thought Ray had told me that it was from the Coast Guard, that turned out to be false later as told later. I have kept it in the book shelf since it seemed an important thing for him. Unfortunately, he has died around 2000, I guess, before I asked about this pin to him. 

A few weeks ago, I have posted this photo of the pin asking what it was and how I should do with it. Another Ray, K7FU, has given me a comment to say his friend, Rick, KD7CAY, has been collecting those items and he would ask him about it. Rick told Ray he would get it for his collection. A few days later, it has been sent to Rick in a plastic box. It has travelled across the Pacific Ocean in almost 30 year long interval.

Today, Rick has given me a home made soap in the same box. And he told me the pin badge belonged to the US Army Transport Service. He also told me he would display it with his chalange coins. I am not sure how the pin is related with those coins. Anyway, I am very pleased the pin badge has found the home for eternity for now. Ray in the heaven might be smiling at this consequence.

I really appreciated Rick and Ray, K7FU. The pin badge has travelled over the Pacific Ocean to and fro. It was all thanks to the friendship of my friends. This kind of communion, pretty common back in '60s through '90s, has been found very scarcely in ham radio nowadays. Recalling of the people who showed me their friendships and fraternity, I again appreciated this hand made soap.

Thanks, Ray and Rick.

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