Local students show love for veterans with Valentine’s cardsPublished 12:30pm Friday, February 12, 2010
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
This Valentine’s Day, area students are showing their love for the area’s veterans.
Hand-drawn and written Valentine’s Day cards were made by students at Moccasin Elementary School in Buchanan as well as the Buchanan High School National Honor Society, Howard Elementary and seventh-graders at Brandywine Middle/Senior High School in Niles.
Odie Stewart, a member of Rolling Thunder, a non-profit organization that works to educate the public on issues regarding Prisoners of War and soldiers Missing in Action, collected those cards.
A donation box for Valentine’s Day cards was also put up at the Niles-Buchanan YMCA, where members of the community were able to bring in a cards for veterans.
Stewart said there was a “tremendous outpouring” of cards for vets.
“Every year Rolling Thunder goes up to the (VA Medical Center) in Battle Creek,” Stewart said.
The group organizes special event dinners for various holidays including Christmas and Thanksgiving.
So many cards were gathered through the drive, Stewart said he passed out all he had at the hospital and would be taking them on to other locations including up to Ann Arbor and possibly to some area veteran clinics.
“All the cards will be given to veterans,” Stewart said. “Our feeling is strong in the hopes that they will have a minute or two to answer these kids and write back.”
The drive was started by, Madeline Higgins, project organizer for the National Honor Society.
“I wish I could have seen the smile on the veterans’ faces when they read sayings like, ‘America rocks and so do you,’ or ‘roses are red, violets are blue, I’m glad we found a hero in you,’” Higgins said in a statement.
“They’re phenomenal,” Stewart said. “The words, the feeling and the compassion.”
One, he remembered, was written by a student who said though she didn’t know much about the war, the one thing she’d hoped to hear back were more war stories.
Stewart said Rolling Thunder hopes to get more information out to the public and educate more students about America’s veterans.
“It’s our mission to serve these guys, especially the new guys coming home,” he said. “We are wanting to get out to the public more, about who we are, what we do and how important this movement is.”
A level of importance that does seem to already be shared with area students, who helped give a little love to area veterans this holiday.
Area veterans interested in learning more information about Rolling Thunder can e-mail Stewart at email@example.com.