Throughout my life, I have been on a constant search for a place to call home. I’ve lived in the mountains of Wyoming, on the deserts of Arizona, and in the woods of Mississippi and although my journey has taken me all over the World, not for a second would I have believed I would end up in the shadows of the Wichita Mountains in a place called Lawton.
Now Lawton was not some unknown place to me. My grandfather owned Dupler Plumbing here, I was born at Comanche County Memorial Hospital, and I graduated high school not far from Lawton in the small town of Carnegie. But, my knowledge of Lawton didn’t exceed past Central Mall where I’d do my school shopping every year. Nonetheless, from the moment I moved here six years ago to take a position at Cameron University and later CenterPoint Energy, I knew Lawton was a special place.
You may ask “What makes Lawton such a special place?” If you’ve read the Lawton Proud blogs of those before me, you’ll notice the word used most often is “people”. This is because the people of Lawton are the most generous and inspiring people I’ve had the honor of meeting. Did you know Lawton is home to the youngest Representative in the Oklahoma State House or that we have an artist whose clients include the Oklahoma City Thunder and whose work has been displayed all over the World? These extraordinary individuals are just two examples of what Lawton has to offer and what makes it such a special place.
In my search for a home, it was important for me to live in a community that gave back and Lawton has truly not disappointed. I’ve had the privilege of working with several of the organizations in Lawton that strive to provide resources for families in need. Every time I participate in a United Way of Southwest Oklahoma’s “Day of Caring” or a Habitat for Humanity “Blitz Build”, I’m amazed at the amount of people who turn out to help their fellow Lawtonian. There have been CEOs and interns, school children and retirees, a collection of people all gathered to contribute to one common goal and that is to help. I’m astonished at the giving attitude of the citizens of Lawton.
Something else I looked for in a place to call home was to find a diverse community rich in history and culture where my son could embrace all that came before him. Again, Lawton did not disappoint. In Lawton we have the Museum of the Great Plains where my son can experience a tornado simulation, unearth a mammoth, or be the conductor of a 1926 Baldwin locomotive. We can visit Fort Sill to learn about the King of Battle, the United States Field Artillery, as well as get a lesson on the proud Buffalo Soldiers. And of course, you can’t mention Lawton without mentioning the proud Native American culture that is so rich within our city.
I am proud of this community and everything it has to offer and, as I began to look at my checklist of what I envisioned a home to be, I realize Lawton provides everything I had hoped to find in my search. Lawton is a place where I can build a successful career, a place where I can raise my family safely, a place I can retire with quality, but – most importantly – Lawton is a place I can proudly call home.