Spc. Noelle Wiehe and Molly Cooke

Courtesy Graphic
The year 2020 was a year like no other. A year that started out as a promising clean slate, the beginning of a new decade, quickly spiraled into something that no one could have expected with the introduction of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Looking back on 2020: A year like no other

Letter from the editors
Looking back on 2020: A year like no other
The year 2020 was a year like no other. A year that started out as a promising clean slate, the beginning of a new decade, quickly spiraled into something that no one could have expected with the introduction of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Former – and sincerely cherished – Frontline editor Pat Young left the paper in the spring of 2020, when one of us took over building and editing the paper until we were a full crew again in June. The paper wasn’t covering the usual Easter celebrations and Army trainings at that time, but instead our front page often featured service members in hazmat suits or Family members riding through coronavirus rapid testing sites. I, Spc. Wiehe, was happy to be putting my InDesign and editing skills to use to create a great post paper. While I, Molly, was so excited to be coming in to my dream job from my role with the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation on Fort Stewart, even with all the unforeseen challenges our country was going through. The stories and processes were unprecedented, but we worked hard every week to produce a great paper which told the Army story here on Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield.
While the past year proved to be unusual, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield used the time to put the terms “adapt and overcome” to good use. From our selfless first responders and healthcare workers to our Soldiers, Family members and Department of Defense civilian employees serving on the front lines of the pandemic, our community quickly came together during such an unprecedented time.
Virtual events quickly took center stage in our lives as senior leadership, Soldiers, DOD civilians and Family members came together to seize the virtual opportunity as a new way to stay connected. From teleworking to town halls, virtual recognition ceremonies, distinguished visitor events, holiday events and even virtual schooling, the digital age became even more prevalent than before. Our teams across the Garrison quickly worked together to ensure the community was well informed, entertained and constantly hunting the good stuff.
While the pandemic quickly became a part of our new normal, the show had to go on. This past year saw Soldiers with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team pack their equipment to deploy in support of Defender-Europe 20, the largest deployment of U.S.-based forces to Europe for an exercise in the last 25 years. Additionally, Soldiers from 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team deployed to the Republic of Korea as part of a regular rotation of forces to support the United States’ commitment to Southeast Asia partners and allies. However, not everyone had to say goodbye. Families and Soldiers from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade reunited after a nine-month deployment to Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve. Additionally, 2020 proved to be a successful one for training missions and boosting the overall readiness of our 3rd Infantry Division Soldiers.
So while many will see this past year as a flaming dumpster fire, in the spirit of seeking the silver lining, we say that it was exactly the opposite. We came together as a community, found new and interesting ways to make each other smile and dare we say, for the first time in a long time, focused on what truly mattered most in life; health, Family and a new sense of community. In spite of having to adapt to a new normal, we were still successful at achieving our ultimate goal of maintaining Soldier and Family readiness in support of the mission. While it may have been achieved in a somewhat unorthodox manner, we still proved to be successful.
We hope you enjoy a look back at all of our accomplishments this year. Last year certainly kept us on our toes. We wish you all a healthy and prosperous New Year. As always, stay safe and wash your hands. We can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for us.
 
Sincerely,
Spc. Noelle Wiehe and Molly Cooke