I am Lawton-Fort Sill Proud and a third-generation Lawtonian. Like many young people, I had to move away in order to fully appreciate my hometown. I chose to move back so that my children could experience what I grew up with – a family and community that cares about each other. What did my children and I learn by growing up in Lawton? We learned about a rich history of strong people. During the Stock Market Crash, the Dust Bowl, and the Great Depression, my family and their Lawton-Fort Sill neighbors joined hands, leaned into the hard work, and persevered. The city has grown so much since the days when my grandparents were finally able to build their dream home in 1936. My grandmother worked at the Museum of the Great Plains and was the secretary/organist for her church. My grandfather was in charge of rail transportation at Fort Sill for years, including during WWII. My mom, like her mom and dad, played the organ for our church and worked at Fort Sill. My dad also worked at Fort Sill and served in Vietnam. It was only natural that I would meet my husband while he was stationed in the Army here. When I reflect on it, my childhood in Lawton has prepared me for each moment of my life. My passion for publishing began when I helped my mom and grandmother prepare their church bulletins. In 2008, I launched my publishing company, OK Family Publishing. With guidancefrom the Small Business Incubator at Cameron University, we were able to succeed. Lawton is a city rich in history and rich in possibilities. And, like my grandparents and my parents experienced during their lifetimes, we are experiencing unprecedented challenges for families and family businesses. However, I promise you this this: Lawtonians are resilient!There is (and always has been) a “Can Do” spirit that breathes within every person living here. Our wonderful, caring neighbors are the very heartbeats of our small businesses. Like the generations before ours, when this crisis ends – and it will eventually end – Lawton-Fort Sill will bounce back and thrive. We are stronger together.