2018...THE REAL TEST OF HUNTINGTON
2017 was a lot about realization and acceptance for Huntington. It was the year residents moved past the shock of the murders and overdoses. It was the year that we accepted our once innocent small town has the same dangers and demons as larger cities. The problems have been here before now but in 2017 they were in WalMart's parking lot, McDonald's and Sheetz restrooms, and our living room. Netflix, BBC, CNN, and other networks spread our drama worldwide.
We were no longer shocked to see ambulances and firetrucks at Kroger's. Citizens started carrying NARCAN with their pepper spray. Alligator Jackson even quit posting pictures of overdoses and reports of overdoses because the awareness of the problem replaced the denial of the problem.
But acceptance of a problem is not always quitting. Acceptance is not always about admitting defeat. Acceptance of the problem often means we know about the problem and we are ready to fight it.
We began to fight harder in 2017. Heroin(e) the documentary is some of the proof. We began to hear more about a young hero Justin Ponton helping Rocky Meadows. Recovery Point continued to grow. Even Heroin Hearse emerged to help. Citizens began to clean up their communities. The National Guard and wVSP moved in to help.
The fight to take back our city began in 2017. 2018 will be the continuation of progress. 2018 will be the real test of the heart of our city. Will we roll over and let the epidemic steal our loved ones away or will we rise and fight adversity like Huntington has before? We know what the enemy is and are prepared to fight it.
I believe in Huntington. In the past, I have been pegged as a negative Chicken Little type saying the sky is falling. I just wanted awareness. As negative as it may seem, we have to know the enemy before we fight it.
We know the enemy. It's time to fight. It's 2018. Please Huntington... Join me in the fight. It's no longer about pictures or police reports. It's dealers and killers in jail and addicts in Recovery. Let's fight the supply and demand. It's 2018....it's time to fight harder. This time next year let's be the example of a city coming together. It's your Huntington. It's my Huntington.... It's OUR Huntington.