Next time you see a deputy, a policeman, an EMT, an ER doctor or nurse or a fireman, thank them. Thank them for what they do for you and your family, and thank them for what they do for our community.

The physical risks these people assume for the health and safety of others is often recognized. They go out in any weather, on any kind of treacherous road. Some of them have been physically assaulted and attacked with various weapons.

They deal with people who are angry, hurt, frustrated, drug altered, incoherent and just having a bad day. They put their own physical well-being and potentially their life at risk for the benefit of others.

What isn't so often recognized is how they put their emotional well-being at risk. They deal with the aftermath of accidents, tragedies and acts of violence and that takes an emotional toll. Some have been forced by circumstances to take a life to protect others and that takes an emotional toll. They are involved in life and death struggles and whether death wins or loses, there is an emotional toll.

They are there for those tragedies such as suicide, the death of a teenager or even a baby that beg "why?" when no answer is readily apparent. That takes a huge emotional toll and is a huge emotional risk to assume.

The scars from the physical risks are sometimes very apparent; the scars from the emotional risks many times aren't.

I want to thank all those people for the risks they have taken for me, my family and my community; and I want to encourage everyone who reads this to do the same the next time they get the chance.

Dan R. DeBoie


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