2020 is history. What a long, strange trip it has been. For me, the year started while I was recovering from shoulder surgery in December. For weeks I couldn’t even pick up my camera. After a few months of physical therapy, the doctor gave me the green light to return to work the first week in March. I was excited to get back to making photos and helping to tell the story of the men and women who work and serve on Redstone Arsenal.
I returned to work at the Redstone Rocket the first week of March. Then on March 27, all “non-essential businesses” in the state were ordered closed, and Redstone Arsenal began shutting down and workers were ordered to work from home. That week my job changed from photographing the everyday goings-on on an Army post to documenting how the leadership and workers found a way to complete their mission while coping with a historic pandemic.
So, instead of covering the pomp and circumstance of change of command ceremonies, the crowds of smart people at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium or the music and rides at Oktoberfest, I was photographing car lines at the Fox Army Health Center, the covered faces of local first responders, and drive-by Veterans Day celebrations. Daily life on Redstone Arsenal had changed due to the pandemic.
Redstone Arsenal isn’t just an Army post full of military equipment, it’s a place where military and civilian folks work together to keep the Army moving forward while supporting the Soldiers around the world and NASA’s space missions. The leadership at Redstone support the warfighter halfway around the world, astronauts on International Space Station as well as the retired Soldier living in post housing. As a photographer it’s my job to visually document these stories and share them with the readers of the Redstone Rocket.
2020 has been a struggle for everyone. The pandemic has upended everyone’s life. After a year of darkness, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Together workers and residents of Redstone Arsenal have faced the challenges of the pandemic and have overcome them. In the next few months while we wait for the vaccines, folks on Redstone will be working together, wearing masks, keeping apart and washing hands to make 2021 a better year. I’m looking forward to telling the stories of how we face these challenges. Together.