In December Nancy Rouse approached me about sending Valentine's Day cards to deployed troops. You may remember Nancy from a couple of years ago when she was the Principal of Lakeland, TN elementary school and they selected the 173rd, 2-503 as their "Be a Hero For a Hero" project that year. If you haven't read that story or the follow up when one of the Sky Soldiers visited the school to thank the children and staff I urge you to take the time to do so.
Nancy and her husband Frank, who served with the 2-503 in Vietnam, are members of the newest Rolling Thunder chapter recently formed in Mississippi. They got the chapter members involved as well. Nancy contacted several of the schools in DeSoto County, MS asking that they have their students make cards. Meanwhile I contacted a few people asking if they would donate hot chocolate mix and candy.
Jim Rorie and Bob Chapman, of First Tennessee Bank Investment department donated cases of hot chocolate mix. Jim has completed the green route of the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands, NM in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II. That's quite a feat to accomplish.
I picked up the hot chocolate mix and dropped it as well as FRBs and mostly filled out customs forms at Nancy's house. The members of Rolling Thunder MS Chapter #2 drove all over DeSoto County, MS to pick up home made cards from 17 schools in the district and deliver them to the designated drop of location, Southern Thunder Harley Davidson Nancy later told me that several schools got the information late and regretted not being able to participate.
Rusty, President of Rolling Thunder MS Chapter #2, holding one of the Valentine's day cards after it was delivered to the drop off location
Frank with a box of the Valentine's Day cards that were dropped off
I love it when students make cards for our troops. While they are all so touching and special there's generally one or two that grab my attention more than some of the others. This time was no exception. My absolute FAVORITE is........
Many, many thank yous to the DeSoto County schools, students and staff, to Frank and Nancy Rouse, Rolling Thunder MS Chapter #2 and Jim Rorie for making this project a huge success. Hundreds of cards, packets of hot chocolate mix and candy and lots of love are on the way to Soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Here are pics of some of the other cards:
Well done everyone. Well done!