When we think of our first responders, the words honor, commitment, integrity, and sacrifice comes to mind almost immediately. During the uncertain times caused by COVID-19, our first responders have remained on the front lines and continue to serve their community with little to no thought of their own personal safety and health. They are often unnoticed and get little to no thanks for the job that they do so well. While most of us are thinking about when will we get to go shopping again, get our hair done, or even go out to eat, the first responder is thinking about how to come home to their family without exposing them to COVID-19, or how they will care for an elderly family member without putting them at risk. They will arrive home in the middle of the night or in the wee hours of the morning, stripping off their uniform and attempting to sanitize themselves the best they can before making a mad dash to a shower that is turned on as hot as they can possibly stand to make sure that they are taking every precaution to protect their family from exposure. Their skin is raw from the aggressive scrubbing that takes place at the end of each shift. Hands that are red and raw from continuous washing and use of hand sanitizer will painfully slide in and out of latex gloves throughout their shift. Their face is often bruised with sores from where the mask has rubbed the skin raw, yet they still show up at the beginning of each and every shift. I would like to take this time to say thank you to the police officers, fire fighters, EMTs, and other first responders for their continued commitments. They are the unsung heroes during some of the most uncertain and unprecedented times in American history. A special thanks goes out to my sweet husband of 28 years, Constable Mike Davis. I love you.

J

Thank you,

Rhonda Davis, MSW, MSCJ

Ms. Classic Texas 2021