Discounts should be offered to all first responders, not just military

November 15, 2016

Kyle Guthrie

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     The military discount. Many businesses offer it. Anyone who is active or retired military is discounted five, ten or even fifteen percent off of their purchases.

     I am biased due to my status as a retired veteran, but I feel these discounts are friendly ways that a business shows their support to the military, which certainly makes a repeat customer out of me.

     The same businesses sometimes offer discounts to police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians under the first responder discount, another way for a business to show their support for these heroes.

     But many times they do not. It is a problem for a business to offer discounts to service members, but not to police officers.

     Don’t get me wrong; it is absolutely within a company’s right to deny service members a discount.

     But police officers and firefighters put on a badge every day that could very well be their last, so I don’t think it is too much to offer them a discount in exchange for this service, particularly if businesses do so for soldiers.

     I have a favorable view of law enforcement; they are brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep people safe, often at the cost of their own lives.

     Sadly, my reverence of the police seems to be in the shrinking minority.

     According to the Officer Down Memorial Group, police shooting deaths have increased by 55 percent this year. In many cases, officers are being hunted and assassinated in the streets by an American population that continues to show growing hostility toward these heroes.

     People have no problem calling service members heroes, but many people in the U.S. tend to refer to police in much more volatile and disgusting terms.

     But police officers put themselves on the line for the American people just as much as service members do.

     Police officers and service members, who both willingly sign up for incredibly dangerous occupations, go into situations with the expectation of a firefight and deal with seemingly innocent situations that can turn deadly in the blink of an eye.

     While they are not being targeted in the streets the same way police officers seem to be, firefighters receive just as much ridicule.

     Running into a burning building to save someone caught in the blaze takes a level of courage that most people can only dream about and can result in the loss of their lives as well.

     It is important that we continuously remember their tremendous contributions to society and the countless lives that they have saved at great cost to themselves.

     I would much rather see my fifteen percent discount reduced to five if it means that police officers and firefighters can enjoy a discount themselves.