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Students send Valentine's Day messages to vets

Members of the DAV Auxiliary packed schoolkids’ hand-made valentines to send to veterans around the state. Pictured, from left, are Camille Remus, Glenys Hotzler, Carre Vanderheyden, Glyndle Siebert and Sue Klosner. (Submitted photo)

To show their appreciation and affection for veterans throughout Minnesota, kids from the Nevis, Menahga, Park Rapids and Wadena schools recently made over 1,500 Valentine's Day cards.

As they have done for over 25 years, women from Unit 38 of the Park Rapids Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary (DAVA) collected and organized those cards, boxing them up for mailing to the state's five veterans homes at Fergus Falls, Silver Bay, Luverne, Hastings and Minneapolis. In addition, cards will be given to veterans at the Heritage Living Center in Park Rapids and at the Fargo VA.

"We do this," explained DAVA member Glenys Hotzler, "to show our respect for the veterans, and to help the kids learn to express their love for them, too."

DAVA member Glyndle Siebert was impressed to see the wide variety of messages displayed on the cards.

"There are all kinds of sentiments here," she noted, ranging from simple "thank yous" to deeper messages about true strength coming from getting up after taking a fall.

Included in the offering of cards was a box of 60 chocolate bars, the kind of item used for school fundraisers. That gift is now being enjoyed by veterans who come in to the Hubbard County Veterans Service Office (VSO).

Hubbard County VSO Jerry Bjerke expressed his gratitude for both the DAVA members and the schoolkids, saying that what might be considered a seemingly simple exercise would "create huge ripples of appreciation among the veterans in the state."