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I have always known that we are family in the vague sort of way that you can know something is true without really focusing on it or seeing it all the time. There is something about seeing law officers, their spouses, service members in the armed forces, the “civilian” employees of departments, firefighters, dispatchers, corrections officers, EMS personnel and security officers, joining together to honor the life of one of their own, that brings this commonality home to the heart in a way that’s hard to put into words. Reflected on faces streaked with tears or those set firmly, iron-jawed with stoic determination not to cry, I could literally see the dedication that each man and woman in attendance gives to the emergency services family. There is a kindred spirit that we all share, a unity of thought and purpose that pulls us together when one of our own has given his or her all in the performance of solemn and sacred duty. We don’t all serve in the same role, but we all serve the same righteous cause.

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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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Police work can be exhausting. No, that's not really a complaint; it's just a statement of fact. I don't say that to garner sympathy from anyone nor in any effort to say that other jobs aren't exhausting. But law enforcement does come with its own set of unique stresses.  It can be physically exhausting due to working in any number of harsh environments, the physical confrontations we may encounter, etc. It can be emotionally and spiritually draining because of how often we see people at their worst, deplorable circumstances or our brothers/sisters falling at the hands of an assailant or tragically, their own.

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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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“Those who fight monsters inevitably change. Because of all that they see and do, they lose their innocence, and a piece of their humanity with it. If they want to survive, they begin to adopt some of the same characteristics as the monsters they fight. It is necessary. They become capable of rage, and extreme violence. There is a fundamental difference, however. They keep those monster tendencies locked away in a cage, deep inside. That monster is only allowed out to protect others, to accomplish the mission, to get the job done…..Not for the perverse pleasure that the monsters feel

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