The recent shooting and death of a Longview Police officer in a domestic dispute drives home a sobering point that is magnified this time of year. Our public servants and first responders – E-M-T's, police officers and firemen are human too. None of them are immune to the challenges facing the rest of us. We often times think that police and fire personnel are somehow exempt from the pressures when actually, the pressure they face is oftentimes magnified because of the line of work they are in. And so we regularly see the by-product of the pressure on these local heroes in broken marriages, emotional distress, fatigue and other dangerous situations. But also don't get me wrong, there are many that weather these challenges just fine but regardless, we as citizens need to remember that even the strongest of personalities are challenged in this line of work. So the next time you see an E-M-T, police, fire or other public service personnel, thank them for their service and sacrifice and give them a little nugget of awareness that they are appreciated and that will make for a Better East Texas.