The News Journal: Vets' Valentines
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.”