During this holiday season more than any other time of the year, my wife and I want to pass along my sincerest thanks and best wishes to those folks who work in the law enforcement, the fire service and the medical professions.

I think a great majority of us take for granted the sacrifices these people make each and every day. I had 35 years in law enforcement and my wife is a nurse of 40 plus years, and we can tell you firsthand the major events of our families' lives that were missed because of working the midnight shift, the evening shift or a double shift.

We are not complaining because we both have had great and rewarding careers, but we need to think about the birthdays, holiday dinners, school events and even family funerals that are missed because of this field of work.

Shift work in itself is not easy, but couple that with the tragic and brutal events encountered each and every day by our dedicated professionals that one's memory cannot erase, and we appreciate them even more.

While we're sharing time with our families and loved ones, please don't forget that they are out there in the frigid temperatures, working all night long and dealing with things unimaginable.

Thanks for doing what you do and God bless you and your families!

Randall and Lorna Melvin

Vernon Hills