(NOTE: from the November, 2003 Prince William Community Report)
Having spent most of my adult life as a military gypsy, it was 1995 when the Army deposited my family and I here in Virginia. I had managed to dodge a "Washington assignment" my entire career, but the time had come. Actually, the assignment was to Fort Belvoir, a nice installation by any standard. Well, almost any standard. The wait for field grade on post housing was a grim three years. After renting for a short while, the advantages of home ownership became obvious, the timing was right, and we became homeowners here in Lake Ridge. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. It didn't take long to realize that the area had a lot to offer. We grew to like it and decided to call it home and take advantage of all that it had to offer in terms of culture, history, parks and just a great place to live.
Those years of "taking advantage..." were ok, but in many respects we were residents in name only. It really wasn't until the proposed addition of a driving range at Lake Ridge Golf Course threatened a nature trail we enjoyed that we actually became involved as citizens and gained a deeper appreciation for the community. There was a lot of work and frustration, but what a chance to meet great people and really learn about the community and how local government works. It was both educational and enriching; after years of defending democracy it was really special to participate in it and to watch it in action. We are getting even more out of the community since we became involved and gave some of ourselves. You can make a difference and in so doing, make a different you.