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Texas Volunteer Examiner Setting Sights on Next 1,000 Exam Sessions


In July, Franz Laugermann, K3FL, of Houston, achieved a milestone that no other VEC has before by taking part as a Volunteer Examiner in his 1,000th exam session. And, he told ARRL, he’s far from finished.

“As long as I can be here, I’m gonna go on doing this,” he said, adding that he’s set his sights on 2,000 sessions. “It’s so rewarding to help other people through this.” He estimated that he’s helped about 5,000 people get their Amateur Radio licenses. At one recent session, a 10-year-old boy who passed the exam became the fourth generation in his family to get licensed through Laugermann, who also had conducted the testing sessions at which the boy’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather earned their ham tickets.

Laugermann became an ARRL-accredited Volunteer Examiner (VE) in 1991. His wife Barbara, KA5QES, has been a VE nearly as long as her husband. Both are ARRL members.

Retired from the US. Army in 1975, Laugermann, 78, has been licensed since 1978 and has served as an Official Observer for 27 years and as a member of ARES®. He supported the ARES effort for Hurricane Harvey at the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Emergency Operation Center at Houston TranStar

Laugermann is also as an ordained deacon of the Galveston-Houston Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

He has been running VEC sessions at Houston TranStar for more than 16 years. “I like meeting new people,” Laugermann says, adding that when he talks to people young or old, he always encourages them to give Amateur Radio a try. “I tell them, ‘I don’t know everything, but I’ll tell you everything I do know,’” he said with a laugh.

He’s taken to telling his recent exam graduates to text him with their new call signs so he can keep an ear out for them when he’s on the air. “I’m retired, so I’m on the radio all day long,” he said.