What does it mean to be Lawton Proud?
As one who was transplanted here, I am astounded by the number of people I meet who have moved here, as well as the number of people who were born and raised here. I will touch on a few things as I try to outline the Lawton Proud theme.
First, the number of people born and raised in Lawton and the surrounding area and still living here is surprisingly high. Conventional wisdom says many people who are born in smaller cities and towns grow up and move away. However, this is not true in regards to Lawton. Many of those persons are extremely proud of the fact they were born here and are very positive in their responses as to why they continue to live in Lawton.
I meet a lot of people associated with the military and that is why they are here. I attend church at The Christian Center. We have many retired military personnel who decided to remain in Lawton instead of moving back to their home city. They believe in Lawton and what it stands for: honesty, integrity and hardworking citizens.
Lawton Proud: We have a strong education aspect to our community. Cameron University stands out as one of the top small colleges in the state, offering over 50 degrees through its many programs. We also have an excellent career-training program through Great Plains Technology Center, which caters to students from 13 area high schools. Our three City high schools are also a positive educational piece — Eisenhower, Lawton High and MacArthur are extremely good schools, both athletically and academically.
Lawton Proud: The work-life-balance is quite attractive. We have many great organizations that provide employment, both large and small. I am extremely proud to work for Southwestern Medical Center; we have been chosen by The Oklahoman as a “100 Top Work Places” in the state for five years in a row and we hold dual accreditation from The Joint Commission as well as the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program. On the social side of the work-life spectrum, Lawton offers things like the Lawton Philharmonic Society, the Lawton Community Theatre, the Museum of the Great Plains, and outdoor recreation at Lakes Lawtonka and Ellsworth. And I must include the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge – while not located in Lawton proper, this gem is a great selling point for this area of the state.
As mentioned earlier, I am a transplant from Oklahoma City. I’ve been in Lawton since 2008. In that time my opinion of the community has changed drastically. I initially felt I was moving to a lower class of living and would be inundated with crime. I have since found out I could not have been more wrong about Lawton. This city is a prime example of what can be accomplished when all citizens are valued members of the community. We have a rich tradition of inclusiveness; you see people from every race and cultural background living together here, loving, and helping along their fellow Lawtonians.
I am excited to see the new developments taking shape that will help us become an even more successful city. The pride shown by our citizens makes me very proud to let others know I am from Lawton. It is now my home and I am Lawton Proud.