Handmade valentines for wounded heroes, soldiers overseas

January 14, 2008 2:58:09 PM PST
With Valentine's Day only a month away, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn is urging schoolchildren and adults to get out their glue, paper and scissors as soon as possible, to make sure Illinois' wounded veterans and troops overseas receive plenty of handmade valentines by Feb. 14.On Monday, January 14, at 1:30 p.m., Quinn will hold a news conference in the 15th floor Blue Room of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St. in Chicago to encourage everyone in Illinois to create and send handmade valentines to brighten the holiday for our military men and women.

"Although many of us are still putting away our Christmas decorations, Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and it can take a while for letters to make their way from the homefront to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan," Quinn said. "I hope everyone in Illinois will find time in the next week or two to make a handmade, heartfelt valentine to let our veterans and soldiers overseas know that they are in our hearts on Valentine's Day and every day."

Quinn will be joined at the news conference by students from Chicago International Charter School and the Kidz Korna, a Chicago youth organization. The children will display the valentines they have made to express their appreciation to America's veterans and servicemembers.

Deb Rickert, President of Operation Support Our Troops-Illinois; Turon Ivy, Director of Chicago International Charter School-Bucktown Campus; and Delece Williams, Director of Kidz Korna also will attend.

Valentine cards and letters may be sent to Operation Support Our Troops-Illinois, a not-for-profit organization that has been forwarding valentines to troops overseas for the past three years.

To ensure timely delivery, Operation Support Our Troops-Illinois is asking that all valentines be dropped off or mailed to their office by Saturday, Feb. 2. The main address is 1807 S. Washington, Suite 110, #359, Naperville, IL, 60566. A complete list of Operation Support Our Troops-Illinois drop-off locations may be found at www.osotil-org.

"For soldiers overseas and wounded veterans, a card or letter from the folks back home is a welcome reminder that we appreciate the sacrifices they have made to protect our freedom," Quinn said. "Let's all do our best to make this Valentine's Day a little sweeter for our military men and women who are far from home."

For more information, please visit operationhomefront.org