Story by Luke Segota
Every year for Valentine’s Day the students at the Warwick Valley Middle School (WVMS) in Warwick NY invite Veterans to the school for a show and some brunch for their annual “Valentines for Vet” event. This year the brunch and concert took place on Tues., Feb. 13.
Members of the WVMS band, choir and orchestra organized performances in honor of these Veterans. Arriving to this event was surreal in a way, as this reporter performed at this event almost 10 years ago. It has grown significantly in size, with more attendance of Veterans and far more student involvement than in previous years.
Tables and walls in the auditorium were covered with artwork, letters and thank you notes to the Veterans. These tokens of gratitude were made by the students of the Middle School. Joan Ruckert, a history teacher, served as the master of ceremonies for this event. Ruckert spoke briefly about her father, a WWII veteran, now 93 years old.
As well as giving thanks to these men and women who chose to protect the country in various past wars, Ruckert introduced a four man band, which played familiar tunes such as “The March of St. Julian,” “The Noble Men March,” and of course, anthems from each branch of the military. Paul Myruski, a music teacher at WVMS, who led this small band, played music in the military for several decades.
As breakfast began and the music came to a close, it was truly a sight to see students actively went to speak with the Veterans. A heartwarming sight to behold, as there is so much to learn from them and their own individual experiences. It was extremely pleasing to see that this ‘Valentine’s for Vets’ had such an outstanding turnout.