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Operation Warp Speed

Veteran's Corner

Nope, it’s not a “Star Wars” movie about Luke Skywalker defending us from the Galactic Empire, but rather the story of a modern-day hero who organized and assembled a precise and what I consider successful offensive to destroy a brutal invading virus unleashed by a foreign land. The story of former President Donald Trump as that modern day hero, wisely giving responsibility to the U.S. military to quickly and accurately distribute supplies. 

I know, many of you illogically hate this comparison. Those of you honest enough and possessing a moderate amount of common sense should be able to admit no politician in government today could have achieved this amazing feat in such record-breaking time. I can recognize real leadership, whether I like the leader or not, and Trump provided that. Good-bye, 2020, you won’t be missed by many. The coronavirus dealt the world a devastating blow. No one knew what its effects or consequences would be and we are still uncertain. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has flip-flopped on recommended procedures for how to best deal with the virus for months. Monday morning quarterbacks and pundits seemed to blame everything negative on Trump. 

That brought out the best and the worst in state and federal leadership. None of the best can be claimed by the speaker of the house and her cronies. Political elites didn’t follow their own directives or convoluted rules. Double standards? Local governments fared far better through having direct contact with their constituents. 

Many patriots, though, stepped up to the plate to make a positive difference, financially and psychologically, while I believe most federal and state leaders could have cared less about humans and businesses suffering. They had their own mansions, security details, staff, salaries and pensions — courtesy of U.S. taxpayers — to keep them occupied. 

Stimulus relief was cruelly withheld by politicians to avoid the appearance of a Trump victory. Inhumane politics took priority over people’s lives and livelihoods, all while our dedicated and fearless scientists and health care workers toiled tirelessly to provide desperately needed care. 

Concerned citizens provided help to overworked individuals. Patriots stepped up to fund food kitchens, oversee the needs of seniors and do continuous good deeds. Celebrations, reunions and holiday festivities were severely curtailed or canceled. For example: We Rounders this year cautioned on the side of safety and did not erect our 16-foot by 32-foot squad tent for our annual gathering at Deer Camp on the border of North East and Ancram. (It’s the first time we’ve canceled since forming the Rounders Club in 1954.) Instead of our regular camp we improvised. We had predawn gatherings at the platform and evening post hunt discussions. We had outdoor prepared meals. It was a bit uncomfortable, but still enjoyable and memorable. These times are uncomfortable and uncertain, mentally and psychologically challenging. But I survived a 10-month tour in the Western Pacific enduring severe conditions and tragedy, and throughout it all I prayed and counted the days till I could make it home again. And I did make it home again. 

Just like we will make it through now. Let’s have a little less complaining and blaming each other for what’s gone wrong. It’s counterproductive. Let’s be thankful. This time next year a new day will dawn. God bless you, patriotic readers, and your families. Here’s to better times ahead.  

Millerton resident Larry Conklin is a Vietnam War veteran who is a member of the Millerton American Legion Post 178 and the Couch-Pipa VFW Post 6851 in Canaan, Conn.

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