A group of veterans being treated at the PTSD clinic in Batavia got a special Valentine this afternoon at the Holland Land Office Museum.
Students participating in a history class there presented each of the veterans with a patriotic Valentine's Day card that they made themselves.
Anne Marie Starowitz also presented a $250 check to the veterans, a donation to the clinic or however they want to use it. She said they could throw a party for themselves if that's what they wanted to do with the money.
The money comes from the sale of her book, “Back in the Day, Snapshots of Local History, the Way I See It!”
Starowitz said she was inspired to make the donation and support the veterans after a group from the PTSD clinic in Batavia visited the museum and she felt so moved to meet them and learn something about them.
Several of their veterans expressed their gratitude, including ones who said the gesture was so meaningful because they are currently separated from their own children while undergoing treatment and they miss their kids.
"One of the symptoms I deal with is kind of numbing everything out, but this really cracked through the ice," said one veteran. "This is special."
Carl, who served two terms in Iraq, said the cards meant a lot to him but wanted to remind the children that the word "hero" has a special meaning.
"To us, hero means the people who didn't come home," Carl said. "That's something that we hold dear to our hearts and I'm sure you do, too, but on the other hand, it's people like you guys who are willing to do this and support us and happy to do it that make it easy for us to go over there and fight."