Valentine’s Day. The day that is designated to express your love and devotion to the one(s) you love. Whenever this day comes around every February 14th, it takes me back to grade school. It is the one day out of the year when a young person can express their interest in another with anticipation of reciprocation. The old “Be My Valentine” card was always ambiguous enough to hopefully gain a positive response. As the days and years add up, Valentine’s Day got more romantic in nature, and yes, more expensive as well. All within the blanket of Love. Now you may be wondering why I’m writing about Valentine’s Day and Love under the blanket of the VFW National Home for Children. That is indeed a fair question that deserves a fair answer. The National Home is, in essence, Love transformed into action. As one interpretation states, love is feeling deep affection or passion (a person, idea, occupation, etc.). Those of us who work here and You, our friends and donors, express your love to us through your prayers and financial support. That support fuels our efforts in sharing your love with our veterans and their families. I cannot emphasize that enough! In the midst of one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history, you are there for us, expressing your love for our mission of serving veterans and their families. In these trying times, you have not forgotten the sacrifices they’ve made to secure our freedoms. You and those who came before you, over 96 years, have found that this place, this amazing place, was the opportunity to express your love to the men and women and their families. I found over the Christmas season yet another reminder of the expression of love. As I helped staff go through the Holiday mail, I happened across a letter that included $4.00. Four wrinkled and worn single dollar bills. The note included in the envelope read, “This is all I could afford to give you.” I felt my eyes water as a lump grew in my throat. That gesture, that singular gesture, embodies the love that our donors have for our beloved National Home. Don’t you think? Yes, we currently live in challenging times where hope, compassion, and love for country, and love for each other can be hard to find. So I thank you for recognizing over the years and the many years ahead that the VFW National Home for Children is a haven where you can find love, compassion, and hope. If not for the love you have for our mission, there would be no us.
So in that, I ask “Would you be my Valentine?’