A look back at 2020
Jan. 1, 2020, dawned as the beginning of a new year — just like any other new year. But this past year was unlike any in living memory, and throughout the year, people started going above and beyond.
In this special series for Aerotech News and Review, we take a look back at 2020 — the year everything changed.
In July, Tom Conroy Sr., pictured in the lead photo, turned 98! More than 75 years prior, Conroy was turning wrenches, and joining air crew with Army Air Corps on anti-submarine warfare patrols during World War II. Conroy also volunteered to serve with the Marine Corps reserve during the Korean War. To mark his 98th birthday, Conroy was serenaded by with Happy Birthday by about 100 veteran friends and supporters. Those turning out to pay their respects included motorcyclists from Patriot Guard Riders, Patriot Crusaders, American Legion Riders, vet motorists and veterans supporters from Coffee4Vets, Vets4Veterans, Point Man Antelope Valley and more.
In July, the community welcomed home Walter Sapp, 76, after he spend three months and five days in the hospital with COVID-19. Sapp, a Coast Guard retiree, is known as a veterans community supporter and Loyal Knight of Elks Lodge 1625 in Lancaster. He was welcomed home by a thundering procession of motorcyclists from Patriot Guard Riders, Patriot Crusaders, bikers who ride with American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Following in cars were vet supporters from Sapp’s own military support group, Coffee4Vets, as well as Vets4Veterans, Point Man Antelope Valley and other groups.
In April, Coffee4Vets delivered a Crazy Otto’s breakfast for frontline workers at the William J. “Pete” Knight Veterans Home in Lancaster. At the same time, High Desert Medical Group delivered hygiene items for which veterans had not been able to shop, including skin moisturizer and Poli-Grip. Delivery team was Coffee4Vets President Juan Blanco, VP Atherine Blanco, Board Members Tony Tortolano and Krishna Flores, with Crazy Otto’s owner and Blue Star Dad Jin Hur and his Avenue I team preparing the meal.
A B-52 from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., flies over healthcare facilities in the Antelope Valley May 14, 2020.
Socially distanced and masked, local volunteers walk the grounds of Lancaster Cemetery, Dec. 18, 2020, placing holiday wreaths on the graves of veterans, as they participate in the annual Wreaths Across America.