Jon’s Favorites · 2020

A marine places a stone in memory of Marine Cpl. Dale A. Burger Jr. at the Gold Star Plaza in APG’s Living Legacy Forest.

2020 was spent mostly at home writing about Aberdeen Proving Ground. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down most day-to-day operations on the installation, leaving me without a whole lot to cover for a publication in which most of our coverage is events-driven.

Of course, because I was fortunately employed, I still had to find things to write for work despite not a whole lot going on at APG. There was a handful of events to view and report on that were hosted on Microsoft Teams, and sure it’s nice to be in sweatpants in the comfort of your own home, but it’s not as fun as covering action and taking photos.

Nonetheless, the year is coming to a close and I’m obligated — for tradition’s sake — to continue this tradition of posting some of my favorite things I’ve done over the course of the year.

First, some photos. I started the year learning how to use Lightroom, with the goal of being able to shoot in RAW and better edit my photos. Well, soon after I finished the tutorial I signed up for, we got our work from home orders.

A few pre-pandemic photos. From top left: The commander’s Aide de Camp shakes hands with a patient at the Perry Point VA Medical Center; APG Police took part in the 2020 Police Plunge at Sandy Point State Park; A soldier collects debris during a nuclear detonation simulation exercise; a soldier leads a briefing as part of a nuclear detonation simulation exercise; Maj. Gen. Mitchell Kilgo reads to costumed children at the Harford County Public Library
From top left: Soldiers try out new exercise equipment at the gym; Soldiers take part in one of the many runs usually hosted on the installation; Soldiers read to children at a local school; Kids play in a bounce house during a family fun event; Children on post cheer during a parade.

Now, some stories.

Prior to the pandemic, I covered an exercise on the installation that helps soldiers prepare for potential nuclear incidents.

I also wrote about a soldier who gained his U.S. citizenship and what that meant to him.

The fire department debuted a new fire prevention trailer that was very innovative and interesting. I wonder how much use it got this year.

Early on in the pandemic, when we were trying to come up with ideas for content when nothing was going on, I did a series of stories about some who paid the ultimate sacrifice who had Maryland connections. The link below is to all of them. It was an honor to share these seven stories.

One of the most read stories I wrote this year was about an employee’s recovery from COVID-19.

One of the few stories I covered live since March was a the installation’s Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day ceremony. During the ceremony, a stone was placed in the Gold Star Plaza to remember the life and courage of Marine Cpl. Dale Alan Burger Jr.,who was killed in action in Iraq on Nov. 14, 2004.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jon Bleiweis has written for a variety of publications in Maryland and Delaware since 2011. For more about Jon, visit JonBleiweis.com. He can be reached at @JonBleiweis on Twitter.

Newspaper reporter by day and sometimes night. Writing here off the clock every once in awhile. Yankees fan all the time. 75" tall. More at JonBleiweis.com.