As part of his annual “Valentines for Vets” program, Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester) announced that local students from 10 elementary schools have produced over 4,000 Valentine’s Day cards for those who have served in our country’s armed forces. The cards are being distributed to Westchester veterans and seniors, and, for the first time, have been sent to active soldiers currently deployed in Iraq. Additionally, the Assemblyman has helped organize a school assembly where students meet local veterans. On February 10, Assemblyman Buchwald and the students of S.J. Preston Elementary School in West Harrison, distributed Valentine’s cards and spent time with local veterans.
Assemblyman Buchwald’s Valentines for Vets program has also expanded to honor active service members overseas. With the help of William Segel, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Veteran, a resident of Mount Pleasant, the Assemblyman was able send over 2,000 Valentine’s Day cards to the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, which is currently serving in Iraq.
“The Valentines for Vets program is a multifaceted event that aims to show our veterans that their service is not forgotten and to teach a younger generation what patriotism looks like and that heroes really do exist,” said Assemblyman Buchwald. “It is important that our veterans are given respect and remembrance from their community for the sacrifices that they have made for our country. Gestures like the ones shown by these students will help raise awareness for the issues veterans face and to recognize those who have served so bravely.”
“We are so honored to share this day with our veterans and Assemblyman Buchwald,” said Dennis Kortright, Principal at S.J Preston Elementary School. “We are happy to show, our gratitude, our respect and our love for the veterans who have made so many sacrifices for our great country. Our students will be enriched by having some true American Heroes as our guests”
“I would like to thank Assemblyman Buchwald for continuing to honor our veterans and active military personnel with such an incredible event," said William Segel, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Veteran. "I also want to thank Assemblyman Buchwald for sending over 2,000 Valentines cards to our active service duty men and women in Iraq. It is great to see so many schools taking part in honoring our veterans.”
The local schools that participated in this year’s “Valentines for Vets” program included Harrison Avenue Elementary, Parsons Memorial School, Purchase Elementary.
Assemblyman Buchwald has a record of being an ally for local veterans in the Assembly, working to pass legislation that ensures veterans get the recognition they deserve. In 2014, with the help of Salvatore Monastra, a Vietnam veteran from West Harrison, Assemblyman Buchwald authored and passed a bill requiring local governments to display the Prisoner of War and Missing in Action flag when it is provided to them by a local veterans organization (Chapter 366 of the Laws of 2014).