Claremore Veterans Center get handmade valentines
BY SARA PLUMMER World Staff Writer
Thursday, February 14, 2013
2/14/13 at 5:06 AM
CLAREMORE - The lobby of the Claremore Veterans Center was full Wednesday morning with residents waiting for a special delivery.
Rogan Noble, the Cherokee Nation's tribal veterans representative, brought boxes of handmade valentines specifically for the center's veterans.
"Children, classes, churches, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cherokee Nation employees, Cherokee Nation Businesses - they all chip in," Noble said. "Kids get a kick out of it, and I know the vets enjoy it."
Noble has been delivering valentines to eastern Oklahoma veterans centers, including facilities in Talihina, Claremore, Tulsa and Muskogee, for 10 years as part of the tribe's Valentine's for Vets program.
"A lot of people send things overseas. We decided we wanted to take care of our elderly veterans," Noble said.
Lloyd Dyer was happy to get homemade cards and a woven basket for Valentine's Day.
"It's nice for them to show their love and appreciation," said Dyer, a Choctaw tribe member who served six years in the Navy on a destroyer that escorted battleships during the Korean War. "I'm proud of them to give us recognition."
Assistant Administrator Glenda Davenport said the Claremore Veterans Center is a skilled nursing and long-term care facility serving the 290 veterans who live there.
Periodically, school groups and organizations will bring cards and letters for residents, but the Cherokee Nation is good about recognizing and remembering veterans, Davenport said.
"They really enjoy it," she said of residents. "They look forward to it. They've been lined up in the lobby since 9:30 this morning."
For some residents, this may be the only valentine they get, Noble said, so driving across eastern Oklahoma to deliver the cards means a lot to him.
"That's what makes it all worth it," he said.
"It's absolutely great," she said. "We hand them out, we use them for decorations, put them on the tables so they have something to look at when they eat."
Last year about 7,000 cards were made and delivered, but for some reason the Cherokee Nation had only about half that many this year.
In fact, Noble said he ran out before he could deliver to a veterans center in Muskogee.
Making cards and letters for veterans doesn't have to be just for Valentine's Day, he said, adding, "This can be done anytime. It can be Christmas for Vets, or Easter for Vets. It doesn't have to be once a year."
Original Print Headline: Veterans center residents get handmade valentines
Sara Plummer 918-581-8465
Claremore Veterans Center Assistant Administrator Glenda Davenport gives two valentines to resident Patrick McKinney on Wednesday. The cards were made for the veterans and delivered to the center. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World
Claremore Veterans Center resident Mary Hudnall displays valentines delivered to the center by the Cherokee Nation on Wednesday. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World