There are a few things that wives (and military wives in particular), do that get on my nerves, but the number one pet peeve of mine is when wives utter this phrase, "There's nothing to do here!"
I have heard this every place we've been stationed. Yes, I even heard that in Europe! Quite simply, it blows my mind. I feel like a lot of this comes from the fact that people are lazy. They don't want to do research and find out what is nearby. They want someone to tell them and to do all the work. Or they simply just want to complain for x amount of years that they are stationed someplace. Sometimes I think all these wives that complain that there is nothing to do were the same children who always complained they were bored.
A good example of this happened today on the Facebook page for Fort Sill Army Wives. I can't tell you how many times I hear the phrase, "There's nothing to do at this post or around Lawton." Finally I asked the girl today what exactly it was that she wanting to do that this area didn't provide. Her answer." We came from a big city so there was always all sorts of activities going on. Concerts, big lakes, tonsssss of shopping, amazing restaurants, etc."
For the record, the big city she's referring to is the 4th largest city in Tennessee. I haven't been there, but judging from the population and demographic stats, it's not the large city I was envisioning when she started complaining. If she was from Chicago or New York City, I'd understand a bit more.
Here's the thing, (and in this next few paragraph I'm totally going to sound like a paid employee for tourism in Oklahoma) you can find ALL these things within an hour (or sometimes two or three hours) of Lawton. And if you want more shopping, restaurants and aren't satisfied with what you can find in Oklahoma, drive the three hours to Dallas. It's a fairly quick drive.
Concerts- big acts regularly come to both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Not only that, but the Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa often has really great, albeit smaller acts that come in. It's a very historic place for music. In fact, I believe in November, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are playing there.
Big lakes- there are at least two, if not more lakes within 20 minutes of post. They might not be massive, as in Great Lakes size, but they are lakes. Also, Oklahoma has over 200 lakes, with Lake Eufala being the 15th largest lake in the United States.
Sports- Oklahoma City Thunder an hour and a half drive away. Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers a three hour drive away. There is a hockey team in Wichita Falls (50 minutes) and a minor league baseball team in OKC.
Arts- OKC and Tulsa both regularly get traveling Broadway shows (Mary Poppins will be in OKC soon) not to mention both have ballet and other events at their performing arts centers.
Museums- In Lawton there are several museums. Museum of the Great Plains is literally 10 minutes from my house, Geronimo's Grave is about 15 minutes away, also the Mattie Beal House is in Lawton (one of the few women in the Oklahoma Land Run Lottery) the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site (2.5 hours from Lawton) National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in OKC, the National Route 66 Museum in Clinton, the Philbrook and Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa and I know there are tons of other museums I'm not even mentioning that are nearby.
Shopping- Go to OKC. They have several malls, and I noticed in the last couple of years also added an outlet mall. Whole Foods (although no Trader Joe's, you have to go to Dallas for that) Tons of thrift stores, flea markets and antique stores in every little town in Oklahoma. Not to mention how many there are in OKC.
Restaurants- Since living in Lawton, we've had the opportunity to have a lot of great meals. I've had the best Korean food to date here in Lawton, we had Pakistani food the other day that was delish too, German food (that was as good as anything in Germany) in Wichita Falls. Grass fed Longhorn burgers and fried green tomatoes in Meers (about 20 minutes away) and have yet to have a bad meal at the Old Plantation restaurant in Medicine Park.
I could go on and on. But I won't. My point is, that this girl may have lived here for a little bit, but she has no idea of what she has surrounding her. I hope she isn't one of those people that will sit on post for the next three years and continue to complain about what this place lacks, but it wouldn't surprise me if she did.
Please, if you are stationed somewhere and you think you don't like it, take the time to find out what's around you. I promise there has to be something in your area that you will end up loving. Contact your state tourism board and get info on your region. I got a huge packet from the Oklahoma Tourism board after we moved here because I'm unfamiliar with this area of the state and wanted to know what was around us.
Just don't be that (military) wife!