OGDEN -- "God's watching over you while you take care of us."
That was a message on a valentine a fifth-grade boy, who is a religious education student at St. James the Just Catholic Church, wrote on a valentine for deployed troops.
"Sometimes it surprises you what they write, especially when it's a young man," said Crislee Moreno, director of religious education at the church.
The students were among those at two churches that participated this year in the Myers Mortuary Valentines for Soldiers project.
The mortuary mailed out 600 valentines last week so that the troops would get the messages in time for Valentine's Day.
But the students' efforts already touched Moreno's heart. Her husband, Army Reserve Capt. Alberto Moreno, left for a 400-day deployment for Iraq just after the project was completed at her church.
Moreno said her daughters, who are 10 and 13, also were touched by the effort.
"It helps my children out, because they know other children and families care," she said. "I need them to believe that everyone supports what their dad does."
And Terry Ward, a pre-school teacher at the church, said she discovered her students' hearts were in the right place when she asked them to make valentines.
"One boy said he drew a picture with his hands praying to thank them," Ward said.
She said the activity was an extension of many talks she has had with her students about those who are fighting overseas.
"I always tell them how important it is that they know we are here, and that when we send them cards and letters, it makes them happy," she said.
"We talk about how it's a good deed, and how it makes you feel better to do something for others."
Myers Mortuary Public Relations Director Katie Brockman said she was impressed with the valentines she got from the churches.
Also participating was New Zion Baptist Church. Teenagers there put scriptures in the cards, she said.
"They were just as sweet as they could be," Brockman said of the valentines from New Zion.
"They were more thought out," she said. "They had neat messages."
New Zion Youth Director Connie House said the children who made the valentines from her church really enjoyed the effort.
They were all members of the Praise Dancers group that performs regularly for people in rest homes and those who are home bound.
She said they made the cards after practice one day.
"They just got into it," she said. "We have a couple that have had parents that were over there. It really touched their hearts, because they know what it was like."
House said the activity seemed to bring home the messages learned in church each week and the students "just kind of wanted to say thank you" to the soldiers.
Myers Mortuary will be soliciting the community's support again this summer during its Christmas in July project. Company representatives will be putting out a wish list, asking area residents to provide items on the list to be sent overseas.