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Valentine’s for Vets

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Valentine’s Day cards for veterans sounds like a simple enough request, but the reality is that the general population is too busy to recognize these unsung heroes. In response, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has issued a request, and the Colfax VFW Ladies Auxiliary 2003 was eager to comply by spreading emails to everyone in the area asking for homemade valentines.

In an unprecedented move, Carlo and Emma Lujan of C & E Auburn V-Twin, Inc. have adopted the request and taken it to the next level by incorporating the concept into the 32nd annual Sweetheart Run. All motorcycle enthusiasts and community members are encouraged to rally around the idea, producing a record number of cards by Sunday.

“It was thrilling to hear that the C & E Auburn V-twin stepped up to the plate in recognizing that Valentine’s Day cards can make a difference, one vet at a time,” said Beth Murphy, Auxiliary education outreach chair. “On multiple occasions, they have been influential in causing a positive result community-wide on vital veterans issues. When the need is great and people respond, that is exciting. In recent days, we have had responses from local Boy Scout troops, home-school organizations, Christian youth groups and teachers. It has been nothing short of amazing.”

The call for all children, adults and organized groups in the community to join in making valentines for the veterans at the Reno VA Hospital, Mather VA Hospital, Auburn VA Clinic, plus mailing packages to members serving in Afghanistan, originally went out early last month. Many of these men and women served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War and current Iraq/Afghanistan wars. Participants are encouraged to be creative, possibly making the request a rainy day project, a homework assignment and a personal or even family commitment.

"When we hear there is a veteran, any veteran, in need, we are honored to be a part of the solution,” said Emma Lujan, president of C & E Auburn V-twin, Inc.”We are grateful to start and carry out any mission to repay just a fraction of what they have given to us and this great nation. Being able to get on your motorcycle and ride is just one freedom given to us by the veterans.”

Since 1999, when Valentines for Vets first started, more than 25,000 valentines have been collected and passed on to veterans in VA hospitals, clinics and overseas. The goal of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary is to serve the veterans of this country and their communities in honor of the sacrifices and commitment of every man and woman who has served in uniform.

Eligibility for ladies Auxiliary membership includes being a wife, widow, mother, foster or stepmother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, foster or stepdaughter, sister, half sister, foster or stepsister of persons who were or are eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Members must be citizens of the United States and not less than 16 years old. Women eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States shall be eligible for dual membership in the Ladies Auxiliary.

For more information on making a difference or to join the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, contact Terri Sultana at (530) 921-2656 or (530) 745-3510.

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