Sacrifice. Honor. Duty.
Most take for granted the true nature of the United States military until something happens to those closest to us.
That’s not the case at this year’s Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, which will have a large military presence during each of the three performances, set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 through Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center.
“There is no way we can downplay the military,” said Joe Henderson, chairman of the Chisholm Trail committee that is producing the championship rodeo. “We are just 30 minutes from Lawton and Fort Sill, and we have one of the largest National Guard units. We recognize the importance of the military.
“Our concept in this whole deal is that they’ve given the ultimate sacrifice for us.”
The rodeo will open each night with a special tribute by various military groups: Green Berets on Thursday, Buffalo Soldiers on Friday and the Stephens County Honor Guard on Saturday.
“I don’t think Duncan has even realized the impact that Fort Sill has on Duncan and this area,” said Jan Smith, a member of the Chisholm Trail committee and the owner of Spirithorse Chisholm Trail Therapy Center, which is sponsoring the opening each night. “This is going to open the door for Duncan and Fort Sill.
“These people have chosen to live here even after their time in the military. They’re part of our community. We should honor these soldiers and their families while they’re here.”
Rodeo fans will get that opportunity and more during the circuit finals, which will feature the top contestants in each event vying for the championships in the Oklahoma-Kansas-Nebraska region. B
ut without the support of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, then it might not be possible.
“If we fail to see the importance of what our freedom means to us, then how are we going to understand the importance of the rodeo?” Henderson asked. “We enjoy things that post countries don’t have.
“We live in a free society, and I get almost emotional by that. We have an opportunity to make our own decisions because we live in a free society that is protected by a volunteer military. That means a lot to me.”
Sacrifice. Honor. Duty.
- Local News
Will Rogers graduates pre-k students
Duncan High School’s graduation may be Friday, but the high schoolers won’t be the first group of students to graduate this year in Duncan.
Safe room procedures under review
Duncan elementary schools dismissed at 3 p.m. Monday, but it wasn’t until almost 5 p.m. that students who remained at the schools were released to go home.
Because of two storm systems moving through the area, the school district chose to keep students at the school as a precaution if their parents had not already picked them up. Superintendent Sherry Labyer said the plan was to keep students at the schools until the storms passed or moved away from the area as a way of keeping students safe. Buses didn’t start running until 4:45 p.m.
Marlow goes on alert
Marlow Elementary went to load its buses twice before students were finally able to leave Monday.
Rotation nearing the city made it impossible for students to leave initially, and the school enacted its inclement weather procedures to ensure the safety of its students. Assistant Principal John Smith said the procedures were performed well by students and faculty members.
Harrowing scene inside school
Kelly Law and other teachers marshaled students into the main hallway and central bathrooms at Plaza Towers Elementary School just before Monday’s tornado ripped apart the building with winds up to 200 mph.
“It sounded like somebody was going through with a mower and hitting a tin roof,” said Law, a teacher’s assistant. “… I had my eyes shut. All of us teachers were covering as many heads as we could.”
OHP: Non-credential First Responders to stay away
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is securing the perimeter of a current disaster
scene in Moore. There are 68 stations with Troopers blocking entrance and
exits near the city of Moore.
Medical examiner: 24 dead in Oklahoma twister
The state medical examiner's office has revised the death toll from a tornado in an Oklahoma City suburb to 24 people, including nine children.
Jefferson County gets rain and tornado warning
Two fronts passed through Jefferson County between 3 and 5 p.m. Monday, the second producing a rain-wrapped tornado spotted by storm watchers north of Ryan and moving east. The same front passed over Ringling, with circulation but no funnel formation reported.
Most damage in Jefferson County was limited to rural areas, where straight line wind damage was noted. Pea- to marble-sized hail fell twice in Waurika and the surrounding area, with minimal damage.
Power outages keep burger flippers busy
Deborah Hudson slowed from the frantic pace just long enough to admit it was probably the busiest day ever at McDonald’s Restaurant in the Duncan Walmart on U.S. 81 here.
“It started around 3:30 p.m.” she said, watching a line 20 people deep patiently wait for a chance to order, “and it hasn’t let up since. We had to bring extra workers in from the other store and we’ve stayed just like this.”
Duncan dodges destruction after small tornado knocks out power
A tornado touched down in Stephens County Monday about 3 p.m., east of Duncan, and Central High Mayor Julie McKinney snapped a photo of it with her cellphone. Watching it cross State Highway 29, three miles east of Marlow, with her, was Sheriff Wayne McKinney, Marlow Fire Chief Ryan Hall and county Emergency Management Director Gary Ball.
Storms over Stephens County Monday
A quick overview of Stephens County action on Monday when the storm moved into this area:
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