^^^^ Bump ^^^^
I know I'm late to the party here, but I'll offer my .02 anyway.
MARS is what first drew my interest to ham radio. During my first WESTPAC cruise (1985) I got a Red Cross message that my grandmother in Pennsylvania had passed away. I had to send a MARS message back home. I didn't know what that was but I played along. As I finished writing out the message, the radioman helping me asked if there was anything else I wanted to add. I was just being a wise guy and I said, "Yeah, send cake rolls". Two months later I get a large care package. In it were 6 boxes of Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. .....Oh, the chocolate was all melted, but we enjoyed them just the same.
It wasn't until after that cruise that I discovered my message had been passed word for word in very short order and that they'd read my words at my grandmother's eulogy.
...Fast forward some 7 years later and I'm in a naval dental clinic where someone has left a copy of QST in the waiting room. On the cover is an article header that got my attention, "Voices from MARS". I put that copy of QST in my back pocket and took it home, where the dream of a new and expensive hobby took root. I recall that day fondly. The wife,.....not so much.