I am extremely proud to be a part of Team Lawton/Fort Sill. I'm in awe every day of the sacrifices made by our veterans, and tonight, we add a few more to those roles — Maj. Gen. Winston Brooks, Commanding General, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill.
LAWTON, Okla. (Aug. 11, 2023) – It was a night where the rodeo dust mixed with the spirit of patriotism. The Lawton Rangers Rodeo, in conjunction with the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association, transformed its arena into a salute to the military on its 3rd night, Friday, Aug. 11.
Maj. Gen. Winston Brooks, Commanding General, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill, wearing his Cavalry Stetson, took center stage, not on a bucking bronco but with a mission just as vital. He swore in 26 future service members, representing the Army, Air Force, Marines, and Navy.
"I am extremely proud to be a part of Team Lawton/Fort Sill," Brooks said. "I'm in awe every day of the sacrifices made by our veterans, and tonight, we add a few more to those roles."
Command Sgt. Maj. Neil Sartain, with mic in hand, rallied the crowd, "Alright, we're going to have some fun tonight. But first, a round of applause for our service members, their families and the retirees in the crowd."
In the swirling dust and excitement, the future service members took their positions, ready to pledge their commitment. With the iconic mascots, Big Deuce and Short Round, standing tall by their side, they raised their right hands and recited the oath, to the sound of thunderous applause and spirited cheers. The night was a lively fusion of tradition, pride, and rodeo fun that blended the excitement of the rodeo with the solemnity of the moment.
However, the evening wasn't just about salutes and oaths. The 77th Army Band struck a chord with their tribute to each military branch, while the Half-Section showcased their skills, proving that the military's precision isn't just on the battlefield.
Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole, addressing the future service members, tipped his hat to their bravery. "Thank you for stepping forward. Almost every one of you is from Oklahoma, and that's something to cheer about." He added, emphasizing the bond between the community and its military members, "No place cares more about men and women in uniform than the Lawton/Fort Sill Community."
As the evening rodeo moved on, the stands filled with veterans and active duty service members, enjoyed thrilling bull riding and saddle bronc events. This special night blended rodeo excitement with genuine appreciation, not just for those who endure on hostile bulls and wild broncs, but for those dedicated to defending the nation through thick and thin.