More than 2,500 handmade valentine cards will be distributed to military veterans in Northeastern Oklahoma starting on Monday, February 10th.
The Cherokee Nation has organized more than 20 schools and organizations across the tribe's 14-county jurisdiction to craft unique cards addressed to "My Hero" and "Our Vets."
Starting Monday, valentines will be delivered by the Cherokee Nation and the Cherokee Nation Businesses employees to Veteran Affairs hospitals in Muskogee, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Valentines will also be delivered to veteran health clinics in Tulsa and Vinita, and the Claremore Veterans Center.
"The veterans are very appreciative of the valentines they get, and the younger visitors cheer them up and brighten their day," says Greg Sorenson, chief of volunteer services at Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee.
"It lets the veterans know they are not forgotten."
The Cherokee Nation's valentines for veterans program started in 2008 by the late Rogan Noble, a Marine veteran and advocate for tribal veterans' affairs.
The program is part of the National Salute to Veteran Patients.