Dear veteran: Will you be my Valentine?

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 10, 2003

With a new war on the horizon, students in Heather Kerns' fifth-grade classes at Ironton Middle School want veterans to know they appreciate the sacrifices that have been made.

Fifty-five students in Kerns' three reading and English classes spent part of the day Friday making Valentine's Day cards that will be taken to the Veteran's Hospital in Huntington, W. Va.

"This is to show them that someone loves them," Jaclyn Marcum, 11, said. "We were pretty excited because Mrs. Kerns told us about it earlier. We could not wait for Friday to get here."

Email newsletter signup

Kerns said the students really enjoy it, and learn from it because it is hand-on.

"We have been working on the proficiency testing," she said. "I told them, 'We will put the books away and learn a lesson from the heart.'"

Paris Birchfield, 11, said that he thinks it is really important to support veterans of past wars, especially because America may be on the brink of another conflict.

"Veterans are the ones that started us being free in this nation," Birchfield said. "We would not be here without them."

His friend, Allen Raney, 11, said he loves to draw and make things, especially when it is for such a good cause.

"It is to support the veterans and think of the seven astronauts that died," he said. "They risked their lives for us."

Ironton residents Frank and Cristi Murphy, who volunteer at the hospital, will deliver the cards and will pass them out on the veterans' lunch trays Feb. 14, Kerns said.

Kerns has had her students make cards for the past four years. Last year, her classes also sent cards to the USS Carl Vinson that was stationed overseas. A thank you letter from the sailors hangs on the wall to remind them of the importance.

"Valentine's Day is to show love and compassion, whether you know the person or not," she said. "I hope this extends beyond the fifth grade and lasts their whole lives."