Valentines for vets at heart of effort
JANESVILLE — Call it a project from the heart.
Fifteen retired teachers, all members of Alpha Delta Kappa Educational Sorority, spent Tuesday night making Valentines to send to veterans at William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison.
It's a project the group has been doing for at least six years, and it's one all members are proud of.
"I know how important it is that they get mail and that people remember them," said Lois Forbes, organizer of the project and wife of a retired Navy veteran.
"We used to make the cards, but now we buy them, write a personalized message and put heart stickers in them," she said, passing out two cards to each of the members during the group's monthly meeting Tuesday.
Many of the sorority members taught students who later entered the military, Forbes said.
"This is one way (we can continue) to support them," she said.
The greeting cards show appreciation for what the veterans have done, Forbes said.
"They just need to know we think of them and thank them for the many sacrifices they've made," she said.
Lucille Nordeng, who comes from a military family and considers herself quite patriotic, agreed.
"Whether it's a card or box of candy (they receive), it's special," she said.
Nordeng's personalized greeting card messages were expressions of gratitude: "I hope you hear many times this year how we appreciate your service for our country" and "I want to thank you for all you've done for our country."
She described the valentine project as fun and fulfilling.
"To think what these men and women have done to keep us free is very, very meaningful," she said.
Sorority member Mary Ann Harris also has a tender spot in her heart for members of the military. Her son just finished a stint at the VA hospital in St. Cloud, Minn., and he previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her grandson also just completed his fourth deployment.
"It's important to recognize what they've done and are doing everyday," she said.
That's why, in her Valentine, she wrote, "We respect you and all you have done on behalf of this country."