Stay safe, firefighters … and thank you

I’ve already posted a recent blog item that talks a bit about the value of prayer as the Texas Panhandle battles through this latest punishing drought.

I feel the need now to offer a word of support, thanks and good wishes for some men and women, many of whom are volunteering their time to protect us from raging flames.

We’re under an extreme fire alert today and likely for the next couple of days — at least — because of high winds and the intense drought.

My wife and I can see plumes of smoke to our north and west at this very moment. They are fires that have erupted in this hideous wind storm. But dozens — maybe hundreds — of firefighters have donned their gear and have taken on the flames.

You know — if you read this blog regularly — about my admiration for emergency responders. Police, firefighters and medical personnel are at the top of my list of heroic individuals who — and I believe this firmly — do not get enough demonstrations of love and respect from those of us they protect.

Here’s something else to ponder: Many of those firefighters and emergency medical personnel are volunteers. They have day jobs for which they get paid so they can put beans on the table. When the fire alarms go off in their rural communities, they rush into action.

This by no means diminishes the value we should place on the professional responders who answer the call as well. They, too, are among the few of us who when danger erupts run toward it, not away from it.

Many of them are hard at work as I write these few words. My wife, puppy and I are comfortable in our home on wheels, the RV that is parked at a campground near Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.

For that I am thankful and grateful for the men and women who are doing their damndest to keep us all safe from the flames.

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