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It's happened again. Once more a promising young life has been extinguished for no discernible reason. Once again I will spit shine boots, affix ribbons, dust off my service cap and press out my class A uniform so that I can, once again, stand in ranks of other law enforcement officers at a memorial service. Yet again I will struggle to hold back tears as I hear the final call broadcast for a brother in arms, and try to suppress the lump in my throat as his wife, or perhaps his parents, cry out in anguish. I might even succeed at maintaining my bearing.

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I don't even know where this post will go but I've thought about the LE community all day today. I've thought of our officers, their spouses, their children, the moms and dads, brothers and sisters. I've thought about it from every angle I can humanly imagine. I always wind up at the same destination: I can't say anything that will make it better.

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It is true that officers have to reconcile that evil exists; it's a reality that an officer will see violence. It's a reality that officers are targets because many people do not want to be detained for their actions and some simply despise the badge. However, officers do not sign up in order to die. They sign up to fight and keep evil in check so that all of us, including themselves, can live.

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We all know this job isn’t easy--each day we prepare for battle; each day we live our life on and off duty in the proverbial fishbowl; we have a front row seat to the deepest moments of despair; and we ride a roller coaster that if we’re not careful takes a physical and emotional toll on us and those around us.But you matter and the work we do together matters as first responders.  Yes, this job has difficulties but they are worth it.

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