Story by Lourice Angie
The Warwick Valley Middle School (WVMS) hosted their 11th annual “Valentines for Vets” celebration on Valentine’s Day, Thurs., Feb. 14 in the school cafeteria. The heartwarming event welcomed dozens of veterans and their families from Warwick and the surrounding area to join WVMS faculty, students, Town officials, members of the Warwick Valley Wire Choir, and the WVMS Guitar Club. The celebration included a delicious breakfast and live musical entertainment.
Breakfast was prepared and served by the students of the home and career classes and there were plenty of tasty foods and dessert options to choose from. Several local supermarkets and businesses also contributed to the special day.
Students wore red, white and blue as they distributed handmade gifts, Valentine’s Day cards, and engaged in conversation with many of the local heroes. The tables and walls were covered with artwork, letters, and thank you notes.
Four Army veterans who live at Mt. Alverno and Schervier Pavilion attended, including Robert Moon, who served in the U.S Army for over 30 years. The vets shared a few stories and memories in addition to having their pictures taken.
Throughout the entire event there was live music provided by the Wire Choir Orchestra, directed by E’lissa Maynard. The group performed a variety of tunes in collaboration with the WVMS band and the Guitar Club. Smiles of gratitude could be seen on the faces of the veterans as their hosts shared the love with them.
Veteran Ed Bailey, a member of Warwick Veterans of Foreign Warwick (VFW) Post #4662, a long time Warwick resident and photojournalist said, “I think this event is great. It gets better every year. The band and the Wire Choir Orchestra are super and their drummer is very good.”
“I think this event is great. If there’s one thing we always point out, it’s that these young people are the future of this country and they really respect us when they come out. Every veteran here has a story to tell and they should ask to hear them,” said a Marine veteran of VFW Post #4662.
Receiving something as small as a handmade card or having the community come together to honor veterans can have a significant impact on the their morale, whether they served in the past, currently serve, are patients in a hospital, or residents of assisted living.