As part of his annual “Valentines for Vets” program, state Assemblyman David Buchwald, D-White Plains, said students from 10 local elementary schools have produced over 4,000 Valentine’s Day cards for those who have served in the U.S. armed forces.
The cards are being distributed to Westchester veterans and seniors, and, for the first time, have been sent to active soldiers currently deployed in Iraq.
Additionally, Buchwald helped organize a school assembly where students meet local veterans. On Friday, Buchwald and the students of S.J. Preston Elementary School in West Harrison, distributed Valentine’s cards and spent time with local veterans. On Thursday, Feb. 16, Buchwald plans to visit the Veterans Administration Hospital in Montrose.
Buchwald’s Valentines for Vets program has also expanded to honor active service members overseas. With the help of William Segel of Mount Pleasant, staff sergeant veteran of the U.S. Army, Buchwald was able send more than 2,000 Valentine’s Day cards to the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, currently serving in Iraq.
“I would like to thank Assemblyman Buchwald for continuing to honor our veterans and active military personnel with such an incredible event," Segal said.
“The Valentines for Vets program is a multifaceted event that aims to show our veterans that their service is not forgotten and to teach a younger generation what patriotism looks like and that heroes really do exist,” Buchwald said in a news release. “It is important that our veterans are given respect and remembrance from their community for the sacrifices that they have made for our country. Gestures like the ones shown by these students will help raise awareness for the issues veterans face and to recognize those who have served so bravely.”
“We are so honored to share this day with our veterans and Assemblyman Buchwald”, said Dennis Kortright, principal at S.J Preston Elementary School. “We are happy to show, our gratitude, our respect and our love for the veterans who have made so many sacrifices for our great country. Our students will be enriched by having some true American Heroes as our guests”
Schools that participated in this year’s “Valentines for Vets” program are:
-- Church Street Elementary in White Plains
-- George Washington Elementary in White Plains
-- Harrison Avenue Elementary
-- Katonah Elementary
-- Meadow Pond Elementary in South Salem
-- Mount Kisco Elementary
-- Parsons Memorial School in Harrison
-- Pequenakonck Elementary in North Salem
-- Pound Ridge Elementary
-- Purchase Elementary
-- West Patent Elementary in Bedford Hills