San Mateo, CA - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) received 7,200 cards created by elementary to high school students from 52 schools in response to her call to create Valentine’s Day cards for veterans. The effort was supported by Nancy Magee, Superintendent of the San Mateo County Office of Education, and her staff. Rep. Speier will personally deliver cards to the San Francisco VA Medical Center, 4150 Clement Street, at 10 a.m. Friday, February 14th.
 
“Looking a veteran in the eyes, handing him a bag of valentine treats, and thanking him or her for the service to our country is a profound and humbling experience,” Rep. Speier said. “This year, my office received a record number of cards from a record number of schools. It’s heartwarming to see how much our students care about our brave servicemembers who risk their lives to defend our democracy and our freedom. Their empathy gives me hope for the future.”
 
Rep. Speier was inspired to start a Valentines for Vets program in her congressional district after reading about syndicated newspaper columnist Ann Landers who 31 years ago encouraged her readers to send valentines cards to veterans in VA facilities across the country. Millions of cards, letters, and packages have been delivered to veterans nationwide ever since.
 
Some of the messages from the students include:
• “Thank you for always defending our nation. Your actions have inspired hundreds of others who aspire to reach the level of dedication that you have shown. Have a good Valentine’s Day!”
• “Thank you for serving and protecting this beautiful and diverse country! I aspire to be as brave and challenging as you.”
• “I recognize, appreciate and honor you for keeping our country safe. Thank you!”