Show your love: Stow councilman and war veteran starts collection for valentines for troops

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STOW, Ohio (WJW) - Jeremy McIntire, Vice President of Stow City Council, Iraq War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, is launching a program to collect valentines for troops deployed overseas.

Jeremy and his wife Claire were reminded of their experience when Jeremy deployed to Iraq in 2007, as many families have seen their loved ones deployed in recent days.

“Receiving greetings from people back home is very important for our service members,” said Councilman McIntire. “Troops can often find themselves going days even weeks without hearing from a loved one. There is no better feeling than coming back from a mission and finding that you received mail.”

Valentines are being collected at Stow City Hall through Jan. 20.

You can also make a valentine with Councilman McIntire Saturday, Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the community room at the Stow Safety Center, located at 3800 Darrow Rd. in Stow.

Supporters are asked to please adhere to the following guidelines when creating valentines:

- Send a handwritten letter, note or handmade card. Soldiers feel extra special when they receive handmade, individually created Valentines. Envelopes are not required.

- Keep your cards to a size of 8 1/2" x 11" or under for ease in shipping and distribution.

- Cards cannot include glitter, food or candy, but there are still many ways to personalize a handmade card. Write a message on them and say, “Thank You”, tell them about yourself and wish them a Happy Valentine Day! Our troops are away from their loved ones and friends, so they really want to know that people back home appreciate them. Please feel free to share this with everyone you know!! We know our service men and women appreciate receiving the cards each year!

- Military personnel love to communicate with you! You can include your school, church or organization name, address and/or email contact on each card so recipients can write back. Cards from children/students must include a first name only. If you do not receive a reply from a Service Member, do not be discouraged. Remember: Our troops are busy!

- Photos of the sender, sender's family, church, or classroom participants can add a personal touch to your card.

- Keep your messages positive! Start with a salutation, such as "Dear Hero" or "Dear Brave One." All cards will be screened.

- Do not put individual Valentines in sealed envelopes.

You can drop off or mail your cards for "Operation Valentine's Day" at Stow City Hall, 3760 Darrow Rd., Stow, Ohio 44224.

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