A Seat at the Table

 

In my office, over the back of one of the chairs at a small conference table, hangs a precious gift I received from the Jefferson City Fire Department – an old firefighter coat that was worn and retired from service. Just an old, smoke-filled coat... that means so much more.

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It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘business side’ of life and forget about the core of our lives and society: health, safety and security. Every morning, the first thing I see is that coat. And it serves as a constant reminder of all those who rise each day and night to serve the rest of us – keeping us safe, secure, healthy and happy. I think of all they do. Firefighters, police officers, dispatchers, utility workers, public works, paramedics, health department workers, road workers. The list is endless. All of them, giving their careers in service to others. Us. That’s what strikes me when I look at that coat. That old, ‘worn out’ coat. I think of all that have worn it, what they’ve seen, what they’ve done for us. I think of their families – the days and nights they’ve spent hoping their spouse, child or sibling returns home safe.

Then I think about me... and that old coat. Am I doing everything I can to best serve them? Are we at LAGERS doing everything to serve and protect their retirement security as they do in protecting us every day? I’d like to think that we do, but we can always do more. A member of our Member Services team took this picture the other day and asked me to write about it. "Our members always have a seat at the table," she said. Though I hadn’t hung the coat there with that specifically in mind, she’s right. And that seat is the reason for everything we do.

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Tagged public safety, Public service, value of local government

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