I love, support, serve and actively engage the Lawton Fort Sill community. I consider myself born and raised in this community. (To clarify, my mother’s doctor was outside of Comanche County, so I wasn’t actually born in Lawton but this is the home I know and love!) My wife and I have chosen to make our home here, raise a family and build our business here.
My earliest memories of Lawton Fort Sill are from the mid 70s and WOW – has this city grown and changed! There was no Wal-Mart, Central Mall, Goodyear, Taco Bell, Back Porch, Chick-Fil-A, or Anderson Pharmacy. It was a different time. But there were so many committed and small businesses around that are still operating as the backbone of our community and that makes me proud: Edward’s Men’s Wear, Flowers by Ramon, Scott’s House of Flowers, The Lawton Constitution, Southwestern Medical Center and Comanche County Memorial Hospital – just to name a few! I loved going to Gibson’s, Baskin Robbins, Burgess Grill and out to Lake Lawtonka; my wife has fond memories of going to LaSills for ice cream at the old fashioned soda fountain, and working at the family store, Meadors.
Today, we are a major hub for the Southwest Oklahoma region. We have one of the largest field artillery bases in the world – Fort Sill – which continues to be a driving force in the region’s economy and has played a significant role in the overall growth of our area. We take pride in strengthening and facilitating our relationship with Fort Sill through DOD contracts, healthcare and business initiatives. Our airport in South Lawton is a unique asset for our community and our part of the state, as well. The Lawton Goodyear plant is a top-producing flagship plant that is also one of the largest tire manufacturing plants in the world. Goodyear Corporate continues to invest new capital to the growth of the Lawton plant, which is a reflection of the production quality and efficiency of the hard working labor force in our community. Additionally, we have the best healthcare available, right here at home! Southwestern Medical Center, Comanche County Memorial Hospital and Lawton Indian Hospital are all incredibly active and giving in our community and offer great educational opportunities for our children and adults. The first-class educational facilities of Cameron University, Lawton Public Schools, Great Plains Technology Center and the surrounding private and independent school districts give families a wide array of choices that all of Southwest Oklahoma should be proud of.
I also want to share that I consistently hear how “friendly” and “caring” our community is. I believe this attitude is a reflection of our diversity, accepting spirit and our truly genuine people. This starts with our city leaders and their desire to promote and encourage economic development within our community. Growth is evidenced in new and existing businesses around town. And that’s not to say it’s always easy or that there are no challenges – it isn’t and there are. That is just to say we continue to move in a positive direction and our leaders understand that our community is stronger when we stand and work together. I always clarify this message to my son. He’s a teenager so I have to say it a lot – everyday. “Be a leader,” I say. “If it was easy, anyone could do it.”
Great communities have great leaders and great leaders work hard to make them great! This is your home, your community – let’s work hard and make it great!
I will also share that I met the love of my life in Lawton, she was in sixth grade at Douglass Elementary School. I was in sixth grade at Hugh Bish – the first class of students to finish kindergarten through sixth grade at the new Hugh Bish school. The old water slide on Rogers Lane was close to the school and a short walk out of my back gate. She was a little brunette with a bob haircut and coke bottle glasses. She was the best thing I had ever seen and, hands down, still is! Almost 35 years later, 24 married, we call Lawton home and we couldn’t think of a better community to live in. We’ve had great love and support from our friends, family and patients – both personally and professionally. Anderson Pharmacy started in Country Mart at 67th & Cache Road in February 2000. It was a small, less-than-400-square-foot pharmacy at that time, and is now 4,000 square feet with multiple service lines and the best coffee in town – Viridian Coffee!
I will leave you with this: The people are what make our community great. I encourage you to become engaged in our community if you are not already! Shop Local! Choose to have a great attitude! Remember the more you give and support your community, the more your community will give and support you!