PORT ANGELES — Drennan & Ford Funeral Home and Crematory has started its ninth annual “Operation Valentine” collection program — a project encouraging students, teachers, parents and others in the community to create handmade Valentine cards to be delivered to a U.S. veteran or active duty service person.
“Support for these outstanding heroes from the public is paramount to their service and their dedication to our country,” said Steve Ford, Drennan & Ford co-owner.
“As some of the recipients of these cards may be hospitalized or in convalescent homes, their journey can be long and is often painful,” he said.
”Other recipients of the cards may be actively deployed or an elderly veteran, a simple gesture of encouragement from a student will brighten their day, and children will enjoy the opportunity to correspond or share their drawings.”
Cards are distributed to both local and regional veterans as well as active duty and reserve service people.
In the past eight years more than 15,000 cards have been collected, Ford said.
“[The cards] have provided students and staff of many local schools an opportunity to express their thoughts and share their appreciation,” he said.
Valentines can include words of encouragement, get well sentiments, thanks for service comments and more. Valentines may be in the form of cut-out hearts, folded paper with a note, drawings and the like. Envelopes are not necessary.
It is also requested that a return response from the veteran not be requested, Ford said, as the nature of their injury or illness or status of their service may preclude them from responding.
Drennan & Ford owners Steve and Leah Ford will collect the valentines at area schools on Feb. 6. Valentines may also be brought to the Drennan & Ford office — 260 Monroe Road, Port Angeles — between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday through Feb. 6.
Drennan & Ford staff then sort and package the valentines for distribution to the veterans and service people.