Valentines for veterans

When Michael Wing came to his door at his quarters in Minot’s Edgewood Vista, he was greeted by two members of the Minot Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary with a handmade red valentine card for him.

Wing is among nearly 150 veterans who reside in retirement and assisted-living facilities, and nursing homes in Minot receiving valentines from the local VFW Ladies Auxiliary for its Salute to Hospitalized Veterans program.

Inside the cards are candy and a star from a U.S. flag with the verse: “I am part of our flag that has flown over a home in the U.S.A. I can no longer fly. The sun and wind have caused me to become tattered and torn. Please carry me as a reminder that you are remembered.”

Adeline Guy, hospital chairman for the Salute to Hospitalized Veterans, and Sharol Paulson distributed valentines on Friday morning to veterans at Edgewood Vista.

Wing said he’s received valentines at previous times from the auxiliary members.

Originally from Menomonie, Wis., Wing said he served a total of 21 1/2 years in the U.S. military four years in the Air Force and the rest in the Wisconsin Army National Guard. He’s a Desert Storm veteran, he said.

Before visiting Wing, the women presented a valentine to another military veteran who also served for 21 1/2 years Shone Topham, activities assistant at Edgewood Vista. Originally from Iowa, Topham said she was in the Air Force and retired from Minot Air Force Base.

Paulson also gave her a gold Ladies Auxiliary coin with the inscription: “We thank you for your service and pray for your continued safety.” Coins already have been presented to many veterans.

Both the Salute to Hospitalized Veterans and the coins are programs to thank the veterans and to honor them, Guy and Paulson said.

There are 146 veterans living in nursing homes and retirement and assisted-living facilities in the city and valentines were going to all of them.

“Sawyer School made at least 100 (valentines),” Guy said. She said Mary Wolf, of Minot, made 105 of the valentines to distribute.

“We do it every year to remember our veterans,” she said of the program.