Delaware elementary students recognize service

By robin brown

Hundreds of Delaware vet­erans just got valentines from some not-so-secret admirers.

Their cards were created by elementary school students all over Delaware.

And they got special deliv­ery – by Delaware’s lone con­gressman.

This was the second year of U.S. Rep. John Carney’s Valen­tines for Veterans project, us­ing the annual celebration to connect students with those who served in the military.

Last year, students crafted cards at Baltz Elementary School in Wilmington, part of Red Clay Consolidated School District, and at Downie Ele­mentary School near New Cas­tle, in the Colonial School Dis­trict.

Those schools joined in again this year, along with two more schools in New Castle County. They were Silver Lake Elementary of Middletown, in the Appoquinimink School Dis­trict, and Downes Elementary of Newark, in Christina School District.

But the effort didn’t stop there. Valentines for Vets this year expanded statewide.

Participating from the Mil­ford School District were Ross, Banneker and Mispillion ele­mentary schools, along with Georgetown and North Georgetown elementaries and the Howard T. Ennis School in the Indian River District.

Among all the schools, Car­ney and his team collected and delivered more than 1,000 val­entines – several times last year’s total.

This week Carney visited the young artists at Baltz Ele­mentary, where students in ev­ery grade participated.

In addition to picking up their valentines, he stopped in to talk about what people do in military service and the roles they play in the community af­ter their active duty.

Baltz Principal Kelly Hurtt praised Carney’s effort.

“ “I hope that we can turn this project into an ongoing partnership between our stu­dents and the veterans in our community,” she said.

And some of those veterans at Carney’s next stop.

After leaving the elemen­tary school, he went to Elsm­ere, where he visited with vet­erans at the Wilmington Veter­ans Affairs Medical Center and distributed the youngsters’ val­entines – along with his per­sonal appreciation.

Carney’s special deliveries also took him to the Delaware Veterans Home near Milford.

“Delaware veterans are ex­tremely appreciative when someone thanks them for their service to our nation,” he said in a statement after the visits.

He called Valentines for Vets – an idea begun by a fellow congressman – “a great oppor­tunity for young people to make a personal connection with a veteran.”