NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Law enforcement in Lufkin and Nacogdoches are in for a treat.
Massage therapists in both cities plan to gift hundreds of peace officers with full body massages, but in order to easily afford the ambitious venture the public is asked to buy into Backing the Badge.
Inside the Nacogdoches Police Department, Corporal Keith Lee was putting up the lobby Christmas tree Tuesday. During this rare less stressful moment we posed an unexpected question.
"Have you ever had a full-body massage?"
"Never. Never," Lee said.
When he was asked whether he would like to have one, Lee said, "Ohh … I don't know. Sounds good."
A full-body massage feels good, too, according to massage therapist Rachel Adams, one of 13 massage therapists wanting to thank law enforcement by giving them a Swedish massage.
"It's full body," Adams said. "It's just to basically work through all the muscles and just give them relaxation the best we can. It's really good for their health. It will really help bring their tension down."
Officers don't always realize the tension their job brings on. Most try so hard to leave the stress at the door when facing family. Massage therapist Sandy Feazell speaks from experience. Her husband is in law enforcement.
"They're taken for granted. You know, we never really think about them until we need them," Feazell said. "Kinda like massage therapists, as well. You don't think about them as much until you need them. Until you're hurting really badly."
Each massage therapist is donating several Back the Badge massages out of their own pocket.
More law officers can be served if the public is willing to donate a massage at the discounted rate of $45 or whatever a person wants to give.
At least one officer is looking forward to the unexpected Christmas present.
"Can't wait," Lee said.
Donors can share their name or be anonymous. The donation can be in memory of someone or for a specific police officer.
All other certificates will be distributed to departments, hopefully by Christmas Eve.
The massages businesses that will be participating in the Back the Badge effort include: Arjuna Mind and Body at 122 Mound in Nacogdoches, Julie Smith LMT at 316 E. Main Street in Nacogdoches, Nancy Lemberger LMT at 122 North Street in Nacogdoches, Bella Salon at 105 W. Shepherd Avenue in Lufkin, Massage Spa at 4100 S. Medford in Lufkin, and Neches River Massage Therapy at 118 E. Hospital Street in Nacogdoches.
The participating massage therapists include: Rachel Adams, Carrie Anthony, Sandy Feazell, Mark Hinsley, Christy Jagneaux, Kim Kennamer, Katherine Masten, Micah Owens, Harmony Packard, Julie Smith, and Jennifer Stout-Lathan.