Veterans thanked for their service during times of conflict

Local Wisconsin veterans from Sauk Prairie’s VFW Post 7694 were thanked in person and received handmade valentines from Merrimac Community Charter School students for their service during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam.

Nine veterans from the post visited the school on February 14 for a kindness program to be personally thanked with a hug, fist bump or handshake.  All 111 students made the valentines, which will be distributed to those members who could not attend.

They were working on kindness activities this month, said Merrimac school guidance counselor Tom Steward.  The plan was that they would have all the students participate in the project and learn about kindness.  The conclusion was to give handmade valentine cards to the vets who attended.

The original plan was to make the cards and drop them off at the VFW for distribution.  Bart Mauch, an adjutant to the VFW, suggested a visit instead.

He thinks it was important for students to see who they were giving cards to, he said.  It is even better when you can thank them in person.

This is the opening year for the program.  Steward said Merrimac is a community–oriented school and the Valentines for Veterans Program is but one way to give back to a portion of their community that is so often forgotten about.

He added it is important for students to witness how grateful the veterans are for the thanks they received, Steward said.  Students saw that a small act could have sizeable returns.  It brought both the students, vets and staff close to tears.

The occasion was as important to the vets as the students.  Mauch said the vets appreciated the students’ patriotism and that they were willing to take the time to thank them.  He hopes when the students are older they will recall the day they met the vets, reported.

There are not a lot of surviving vets, so they found it would be important to attend, he said. Hopefully, they will remember they saw World War II vets long after they pass on.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE