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Valentines for Veterans

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SPANISH FORK — The veterans at the hospital in Salt Lake don't know it yet, but they have some big fans in Utah County.

They'll be getting valentines from them very soon.

Schoolchildren at Brockbank Elementary, Canyon Elementary, Larsen Elementary, Park Elementary, Rees Elementary, Spanish Oaks Elementary and Spanish Fork Middle School are working on them now.

The current "Miss Poppy" — Emily Spotten from Spanish Fork High School and a member of the American Legion Junior Girls Unit #68 — is gathering the valentines up and will deliver them to veterans in the Spanish Fork area and to the Veteran's Hospital.

"We're doing this so they can have a Happy Valentine's Day, too," Spotten told the children in Sharla Thomas' fifth-grade class as the children gathered foam valentine cutouts, glue and construction paper from which to make their valentines.

Thomas said she's happy to have an opportunity to involve her class in honoring veterans.

"I think they're heroes. They are heroes," said 10-year-old Mason Reid.

"They're not always old," said Samuel Maughn, 11.

"I know my grandpa served in World War II," said Jory Brown, also 10.

Malinda Olsen's grandfather did as well. So did Bryce Whittaker's grandfather. "He died, but my uncle has a picture," he said.

"My grandpa served in Germany, but he doesn't like talking about it," said Landon Hickman.

Parker Grant said his great-uncle was in the 94th Infantry Division.

"If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have as many laws and abilities as we do," said Robert Curtis.

Curtis wasn't sure what he would write inside his valentine, but it would definitely be something about saying thanks.

Chelsea Lloyd and David Livingston have a modern-day veteran in their LDS ward.

"He's gone to Iraq," Lloyd said.

E-mail: haddoc@desnews.com