Children, church groups and families make 7,600 valentines for injured soldiers

The Madison County Record Feb. 12, 2008, 7:42am

COLLINSVILLE -- An effort to collect valentines for injured soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, netted a response so heartfelt that other facilities can now expect to feel the love.

"The response was overwhelming," said Congressman John Shimkus who spearheaded the effort.

Shimkus said that due to a "huge" response from school children, church groups, and individual families the valentines will be divided between Walter Reed; Malone House (rehab facility at Walter Reed); Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, DC; Marion VA Medical Center in Marion; John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis; Jefferson Barracks VA Medical Center in St. Louis; Scott Air Force Base; and the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.

"I first want to thank the hundreds of people who sent in valentines," Shimkus said. "This response shows the patriotism and generosity that exists in central and southern Illinois.

"I also want to express gratitude on behalf of the men and women who will be receiving these cards and notes. I'm sure they will be thrilled to be remembered."

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