Time to bring brightest ‘home’

Published 12:44 am Sunday, August 26, 2012

A one-star general. A star in the National Football League. A famous country crooner.

Ironton native Jeffery Underhill, commander of 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, became one of the youngest brigadier generals in the U.S. Army.

The late Coy Bacon was a fierce defensive player in his 14-year professional football career who built the rest of his life around helping keep youth on the right path.

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Bobby Bare was a star in his time, with a string of hits that will forever be a part of the country music pantheon.

Although these names may be familiar, Lawrence County also has a long history of talented sons and daughters who go out and make a mark on the world without much recognition.

Many of these people are Average Joes and Joannes who go unnoticed or unrecognized for their accomplishments.

Those are the people The Tribune wants to celebrate and the kind of people our entire region should look to as a valuable resource.

Unfortunately many Lawrence Countians have to leave the region to find quality jobs and realize their dreams. We want to do our part to bring them back home — literally and figuratively.

The Tribune is working on a series of stories that will showcase a handful of the many talented individuals who grew up here but maybe don’t get as much attention because they have had to move on.

So do you know anyone interesting? Know anyone who has excelled in their field or career? Let me know who they are.

They don’t have to be famous, which can be measured so many ways.

We want to share these stories with the entire community because it can help change the mindset and the false belief held by some that growing up here means you cannot be successful.

The second step would then be to try to connect these individuals with Lawrence County youth.

If even a few of Lawrence County’s success stories could come back to show our youth what is possible it could make all the difference in the world.

Many people want to succeed but they need to see some type of blueprint and to know that it is possible.

Some of these returnees could be blended with presentations by local individuals who have been very successful right here at home.

It may sound cliche, but the sky truly is the limit for our youth, but nothing is wrong with strengthening their wings and helping them take flight.


Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCaldwell_IT.