Congressman Tom Reed of Corning and others from our community gathered at the Bath VA today to celebrate a tradition of sharing some love with local vets.
“Have a nice Valentine’s Day,” said Veteran Jack Plank as he reads one of his cards. “Thank you for your service.”
Today marks the ninth year of a tradition that was started in honor of National Solute to Veterans week. Because this week coincides with the week of Valentine’s Day, it is only appropriate for Valentines cards to be handed out to vets. “Valentines for Vets” was started by Congressman Tom Reed along side Ed Mancini, and the tradition has been going ever since.
“It goes way back,” says Reed. “Nine years ago when I was involved in the local community being mayor of the City of Corning, Ed Mancini, god rest his soul, was a true leader in our area that said ‘you know what, why don’t we take this moment to go to the VA. It’s a national week to recognize our vets that are in the in the VA system’.”
Students from Corning Painted Post School District are also apart of this tradition, and they made over 500 cards to hand out at the celebration.
Taking two minutes out of your day to make these cards is not only meaningful for the veterans, but for the students as well.
“It lit up their faces,” said Corning Painted Post High School student Zorya Webster. “You kind of can see that sadness just with their service and everything they have been through, and just to see that change in personality and their faces light up, it was great.”
When asked what this day means to them, well the response was simple.
“These cards are so awesome but this one says about ‘you float my boat’ and he was in the Navy, he really liked that.”
“Like I was remembered,” said Veteran Charlie Manwaring.