Each month we will ask one lucky listener to be our resident expert on the post where he/she lives. If you want to be part of our PWTM segment please let us know by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or me personally at email@example.com. Don’t forget to visit our PWTM message boards at www.armywifenetwork.com/forum.
1. Representatives Name: Tara Crooks and Mandy Culver
2. Experience in Military: Army Spouses ( 12yrs for Tara and 5 years for Mandy)
3. Their Home State: Tara – Missouri Mandy – Oregon
4. Other locations they’ve lived: Tara: Ft. Steward, Ft. Hood, and Mandy: Ft. Hood
1. Post Name: Ft. Sill
2. Post Location: Southwest OK
Major Units/What Post is “known for” (ie basic training, AIT, MP Headquarters etc)
a. Field Artillery
b. AIT, BOLC, CCC (FA and ADA)
c. 31st ADA, 75th FIRES, 214th FIRES
3. Name of Surrounding Cities: Lawton, OK
4. Closest MAJOR City: Oklahoma City/Wichita Falls
5. How long have you been there? Tara – 2 years, Mandy – almost 1 year
6. What is housing like – on post/off post? (tell us about rental conditions, buying/selling, privatized or DoD housing – interesting policies etc)
a. On-Post housing – Privatized and operated by Picerne Military Housing – they handle all maintenance and move in/move out. They also keep the housing very nice, replacing old carpet and putting in new appliances. For more info on the home layouts and neighborhoods visit: www.sillpicerne.com
b. Off-Post housing
i. Renting: Many rental companies in the area. Some are MUCH better than others so try to get recommendations. Visit the housing office first and they can give you recommendations for rental companies. As with any rental – be sure you thoroughly inspect the property and take pictures – rental companies tend to take advantage of military renters because we leave so quickly.
1. Be sure if you are here for school you ask for a 6 month lease – just as an extra safeguard.
2. Rental Companies to check out: White Glove Rentals and Park Jones Realty (note: AWN does not endorse any individual rental business in this area, be sure to research any company you choose to use).
ii. Buying/selling: Decent housing market with many new homes in outlying areas of the city. As with many installations, selling when you move can be difficult.
7. Rate the PX: PX is on the smaller side. There is a P-Xtra across the parking lot which is also relatively small. PX has the standard departments and good selection. Electronic’s department is small, but always carries the latest movies and games. Remember that they price match at the PX which can save you the sales tax!
8. Rate the Commissary: Commissary is good – very good produce most of the time and very good meat selections. Unfortunately no fresh seafood, but they have a sushi counter. Deli also offers a variety of international meats and cheeses.
9. Rate MWR/ACS:
a. ACS offers many classes for spouses and does a good job marketing them.
b. Many people think that Ft. Sill has one of the best childcare centers of any post – with a new center that just opened.
c. There are 3 fitness centers on-post which offer classes – one with a pool.
d. MWR has many activities for families like a Christmas Tree-lighting, Easter Egg Hunt, Oktoberfest and 4th of July Concerts (Toby Keith this year).
10. Active Spouse Club?
a. Ft. Sill is home to the Patriot Spouses Club.
b. The club is open to all military and their spouses as well as retired military.
c. The club has monthly luncheons September – June
d. The club raises money throughout the year to offer scholarships to the community members as well as distribute welfare money to organizations in and around Ft. Sill.
Note: In the following three please list annual events as well as things going on now…
1. Things to do ON POST: Oktoberfest, Christmas Festival, Monte Carlo Night, Easter Egg Hunt
2. Things to do in CITY AROUND POST: Lawton Mall, Movies, Small Water Park during the summer, lots of parks around town, good library in town.
3. Things to do in MAJOR CITY OUTSIDE OF POST: OKC has Thunder Basketball team, LOTS of shopping, Bricktown for dining, and OKC memorial. Wichita Falls has lots of shopping and dining available.
4. Major SPORTING, THEATRE, or CONCERT activities? Ft. Sill has a 4th of July Concert each year – Tim McGraw in 2009 and Toby Keith in 2010.
Education/Out and About:
1. School System (how many districts, DOD schools, what are they like etc) Two elementary schools on post with older children going off post. On post schools are operated by Lawton Public Schools. Many private schools also in the area – seem to be much better than the Lawton Public Schools.
2. Area Colleges? Cameron University
3. Favorite Restaurants: Meers, Mike’s Sports Bar, Chili’s Texas Roadhouse, ABC, Orange Leaf
4. Favorite Shopping (note: lack of shopping): Not much shopping – not even a Target! There are 2 Wal-Mart Supercenters. Most shopping online!
5. Job Market: Decent on-post through MWR and ACS, also opportunity off-post at Cameron University. However, Lawton is a SMALL town.
1. Best aspect of the post (of the city surrounding?) Very pretty and historical post – weather is always an adventure! Easy driving distance to some major cities.
2. Worst aspect? Horrible shopping and not many restaurants. School system isn’t great and in the middle of nowhere OK for the most part!
3. Local websites – post website or MWR website: http://sill-www.army.mil/
4. Weather: Very unpredictable, some tornado watches and warnings, big rain storms, hot in the summer and CAN snow in the winter.