Re: “Washington State Patrol troopers, corrections workers and others sue Inslee over COVID vaccine mandate” [Sept. 13, Local News]:

This past month, I retired from the Washington State Patrol after 25 years of distinguished service. I’ve always been proud of my job and to work with exceptional colleagues who take — or used to take — our mission of “Service with Humility” to heart.

We are among those who serve on the front lines to keep communities safe. So it confounds and angers me to see the Troopers Association challenging the governor’s effort to vaccinate state employees.

Together, we have a responsibility to combat the greatest public health threat of our lifetimes. It makes sense that first responders should be among those expected to take the most protective of all health precautions, getting vaccinated. This is not an “I” moment, it is a “We” moment. We must get back to some sense of normalcy, and the vaccines are the path to get there.

Our duty to keep people safe now requires us to take a vaccine that is proven to slow the spread of COVID-19, save lives and prevent hospitalization. I hope my colleagues spend more time reflecting on what service and duty mean in this difficult time.

(Ret.) Trooper David Startup, Tacoma