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Soldier shows way to succeed

Anyone who believes that it is impossible to succeed in life growing up in Appalachia should take a look at Jeff Underhill.

The Ironton native was recently promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Army, among the highest ranks achievable.

Underhill has dedicated his life to military service and all that comes with it.

Our region should celebrate people like Underhill for their accomplishments because he serves as a shining example that success is dictated by hard work, dedication, leadership and other character traits regardless of where you are born.

Far too often people try to use Appalachia or Lawrence County as an excuse that prevents them from achieving their goals. For Jeff Underhill, it is exactly the opposite.

The soldier has never forgotten where he comes from and credits his family with instilling in him many of these southern Ohio values.

Some are critical of the fact that many of our area’s best and brightest feel forced to move away from the region to be successful.

The reality is that many opportunities have to be pursued elsewhere. Although this region has room to improve there, the bottom line is that some of this is unchangeable.

But for Jeff Underhill, military service was just the right thing to do. He has come a long ways but has never forgotten where it was that he started.