Jon’s Favorites · 2021

2021 was a year of staying at home a lot, due to COVID-19. But it was also a year of professional change. I left Aberdeen Proving Ground and the newspaper world for the Wilmer Eye Institute. Since both jobs were mostly remote at the time of the transition, my primary workspace didn’t change at all.

Despite spending most of the day in my basement each day, I still got the chance to tell some cool stories over the course of the year.

I’ll share one story that I wrote from APG this year, as my time physically there was limited, due to the pandemic. There were a few events to cover, a golf tournament, things like that. But my favorite story from APG this year was covering the 20th CBRNE Command’s departure for Prominent Hunt, an exercise that helps prepare Soldiers in case they have to respond to a nuclear detonation. It brought me out to one of the APG airfields, where a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military aircraft picked up the Soldiers to take them to the exercise — something that is very rare for the installation.

Here’s that story:

I left APG and joined Wilmer in June. Most of the work I’ve done at Wilmer in 2021 has had to do with developing content for plasma screens that were installed in waiting rooms of Wilmer’s eight satellite locations throughout Maryland. It’s a new kind of public-facing writing for me and it’s been a fun challenge. But it’s not the kind of thing that can be shared here.

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean I didn’t write any stories. And ironically, I think my favorite story that I wrote at Wilmer this year had to do with a doctor who was in the Army. Here’s that story.

Shortly after I started at Wilmer, two doctors retired. It was interesting to learn about their careers and accomplishments.

The doctors at Wilmer are very innovative and many do research to find the next big thing in ophthalmology, which is fascinating to follow. I imagine 2022 will have more stories like this one below.

Some doctors from around the world come to Wilmer for training, and then they can take what they’ve learned and apply it in their home countries, where the level of care they can now provide is very much needed.

Hopefully 2022 will bring more stories to write and share… and I’ll have to do a better job keeping track of that, as well, note to self.

Here’s the part where I would usually post links to some of my favorite stories I’ve read this year. Sadly, I lost my collection about halfway through the year, so we’ll skip that portion of this post for this year. Just read anything Claire McNear wrote about Jeopardy! on The Ringer and subscribe to The Athletic for some great sports journalism.

In lieu of links, I’ll share that I spent every day of 2021 reading a physical book. I used to be a big reader, and that fell by the wayside years ago, so it was nice to be able to do this in 2021. This mediocre screenshot shows all the books I’ve finished. I’d recommend them all for different reasons.

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.