OGDEN -- "Dear, Soldier Thanks for fighting for our country. I hope your kicking butt out there, you can do anything."
That was the message Green Acres Elementary School fifth-grader Bridger Carr wrote on a pocket-sized, laminated valentine that's being shipped to a member of the military in Afghanistan.
Carr was one of about 2,000 area schoolchildren to make valentines for troops there as well as injured service members in Germany. Myers Mortuary is sending the greetings along with about 1,000 valentine suckers for the troops.
"Thanks for caring about our country's freedom," wrote one of Carr's classmates, Merrin Hansen.
"My Great Grandpa (still alive today) fought in World War II (2) I think that Wars are interesting," wrote another classmate.
Some children made camouflage hearts for the soldiers. Others sent messages of hope.
One child drew angels of love with captions beneath them that said, "We know your OK."
The effort to send the valentines was part of Myers Mortuary's Operation Valentine, an ongoing effort to support veterans that has included sending Christmas socks and collecting used cell phones to support them, and will include obtaining donations for coupons for restaurants near where the troops are stationed.
"We belong to the Veterans and Family Memorial Care service. We are the local representatives," said Katie Brockman, community relations director at Myers Mortuary.
"We are working with veterans to let them know how glad we are for what they are doing or have done."
Brockman said she was pleasantly surprised when she picked up the valentines last week.
"Really, Hallmark couldn't have done a better job. They are just wonderful," Brockman said. "They are just so special that I can hardly believe them."
And she said she wasn't the only person to appreciate the creations.
"When I got to North Ogden Elementary to pick up valentines there, Principal Ralph Anderson had them all out on his table and was looking at them. He was saying, 'Look how creative they are.' "
Additional participating schools were Bates, Hillcrest, Lincoln, Odyssey, St. Joseph's, Majestic and Maria Montessori Academy elementary schools in the Ogden area. Roy elementary schools were Lakeview and Municipal.
In Layton, participants were E.G. King Elementary, Layton Christian Academy, Layton Elementary, Central Davis Junior High and Layton High.
From Kaysville were Snow Horse Elementary, Fairfield Junior High, Kaysville Junior High and Davis High. In Syracuse, Bluff Ridge Elementary students participated.