Lawton has been named the most patriotic city in Oklahoma by Insurify, an insurance comparison shopping website.

By analyzing its database of over 1.6 million auto insurance applicants, the company’s research team was able to identify the city with the highest share of military service in each state.

This honor should come as no surprise to Lawtonians.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Lawton is home to almost 12,000 veterans while another 4,000 veterans live in Comanche County.

The reasons veterans choose to call Lawton home are numerous: reasonable cost of living, property tax advantages, access to health care and other veteran services being among them. And perhaps the most important of all — a friendly and caring community.

Lawton has always embraced the military with open arms. Only a fence separates the military post from Lawton’s civilian population. Those who live and work on Fort Sill are fondly referred to as “our neighbors to the north.”

And neighbors they are indeed.

When Lawton needs help, our “neighbors to the north” are there to lend a hand. For a few years, the military took over the Fresh Paint Day whereby volunteers painted houses, for free, for those in need.

Soldiers also help with other projects “downtown” such as assisting in the past with putting up the annual Holiday in the Park display.

With such a warm relationship between the post and Lawton, no wonder so many veterans decide to retire here.

Once out of the military, veterans continue to play an important role in Lawton. They serve on our boards and committees, they volunteer their time with our civic organizations and they become ambassadors for Lawton, telling of all the good things happening here.

So it is appropriate on this Veterans Day that we say thank you to our “neighbors to the north” not only for their military service but also for all they do to make Lawton a better place.

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