2020 has been called a genuine dumpster-fire of a year, and so far, I agree.

COVID-19 and the foggy response to it have been a gut-slam to our economy with lock-downs and spreading unemployment. Protests that started because of the criminal act of four Minneapolis police officers have turned into widespread riots and anarchy. The political discord in all levels of government is shaking the confidence in our leaders.

On top of all of this, the upcoming presidential election in November will be the most important so far in this century. We have a little time left; all of our military veterans who have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution should decide which of the candidates are most likely to do the same. Still, past generations of Americans have faced worse; I believe that our nation is more resilient than we think.

Remember: George Orwell’s novel, “1984,” was a stark warning, not an instruction manual!

On a lighter note: The Texas County Historical and Military Museum on Grand Avenue has an expanded American Civil War display, and a special section reserved for the history of our battleship, the USS Missouri (BB-63). The Civil War display includes uniforms, weapons, and accoutrements provided by Museum Director Ron Jones, a U.S. Army veteran.

The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays.

One last thing: Houston will hold its third annual Independence Day Parade at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 27, on Grand Avenue downtown. There will be a fireworks display at dark on the same night.

Veterans organizations in Houston:

•American Legion Post 41 meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at its meeting hall on the west end of Chilton Oil Company in Houston (just north of Pizza Hut). Changes to membership eligibility now allow U.S. veterans of all branches and periods of service to join the American Legion.

•Fleet Reserve Association Branch 364 meets at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month at the American Legion Post 41 meeting hall in Houston. The FRA exists to serve all veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard.

Houston resident Robert E. Simpson is a retired U.S. Navy chief electronics technician who served from 1969 to 1990. Email gfjjkaa@gmail.com.

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