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PTSD vets get special valentines from Youngstown kids



Published: Thu, February 14, 2013 @ 12:01 a.m.

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Tavan Sallie, left, and Kamille Moore, fourth graders at Youngstown’s Taft Elementary School, show off the valentines they wrote and sent to soldiers at the Department of Veterans of Affairs Medical Center in Pittsburgh’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic.

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Peggy Yuhas, a tutor at Youngstown’s Taft Elementary School, organized a project involving Taft fourth-graders writing valentines to soldiers at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Pittsburgh.

SEE ALSO: Windsor House residents show that love is for all seasons

By DENISE DICK

denise_dick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Fourth-graders at Taft Elementary School used valentines as a way to thank veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Pittsburgh.

The students in Laurie McEwan’s class wrote Valentine’s Day letters to the men housed at the medical center’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder clinic.

“You are a hero to me” and a “man who fought for glory,” Tavan Sallie, 9, wrote in his valentine.

“Thank you for doing your duty in Vietnam,” Kamille Moore, 10, wrote. “When I say the Pledge in school I think of your service in Vietnam.”

Valentine recipients range from World War II veterans to those who served in more recent conflicts.

The project was the idea of Peggy Yuhas, a parity tutor at the school. Her grandson was a patient at the clinic after serving in Afghanistan.

Last year, she suggested the class send valentines to the men at the clinic. A social worker sent a thank-you letter back with signatures from many patients.

“I thought it would be good this year to have the children write a letter to someone specifically,” Yuhas said.

She used the names from the letter the service members wrote to the school last year, and each student wrote to a particular person.

“I think it was better this year because we had the names,” she said.

About 20 valentines were mailed to the medical center from the school last week.

Tavan said he hopes the soldier who gets his valentine is “proud of himself.”

“I wrote that I’m grateful he served in the war and he brought freedom for the whole country,” he said.

Kamille asked her valentine’s recipient about his time in the military and told him she appreciates his service.

When he reads her letter, she hopes “he’s happy that someone actually honors him and thinks he’s a leader,” she said.


Comments

1whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

On February 14 around the year 278 A.D., Valentine, a holy priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed.

Under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.

To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.

When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270.

Legend also has it that while in jail, St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine."

For his great service, Valentine was named a saint after his death.

In truth, the exact origins and identity of St. Valentine are unclear. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of 14 February." One was a priest in Rome, the second one was a bishop of Interamna (now Terni, Italy) and the third St. Valentine was a martyr in the Roman province of Africa.

Legends vary on how the martyr's name became connected with romance. The date of his death may have become mingled with the Feast of Lupercalia, a pagan festival of love. On these occasions, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius decided to put an end to the Feast of Lupercalia, and he declared that February 14 be celebrated as St Valentine's Day.

Gradually, February 14 became a date for exchanging love messages, poems and simple gifts such as flowers.

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2Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

A Legend like the one above also says that he wrote the note on a leaf of a violet plant that looks somewhat like the shape of the Valentine that we use today for a heart.
But all said
THANK GUYS for doing a good job

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3danikytn(246 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

My daughter Sara is also in Mrs. McEwans class and was very excited about writing to a hero. Taft does a lot of amazing things, and its great to see them get some POSITIVE recognition in the Youngstown School district!!!!

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