Eagle County kids thank soldiers for their sacrifices | VailDaily.com

Eagle County kids thank soldiers for their sacrifices

EDWARDS, Colorado – There’s nothing like a little love to help soldiers transition to whatever is next.

Stone Creek Charter School students put down their electronic gadgets to help create hundreds of handmade greeting cards and dozens of strings of patriotic pennants to send to wounded soldiers.

They sewed triangle-shaped pennants made from red, white, blue and purple bandanas. They’re strung on 6-feet segments of rope to create a swag-style patriotic flag.

Those strings hang on the outside of several local businesses for a time, then they’re collected and shipped to the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Carson, in Colorado Springs.

They had 500 handmade cards and 50 strings of pennants by Veterans Day, and are working away for Christmas, says Amy Morrison, co-creator of Where The Heart Is.

It seems like such a simple thing, but it means so much to the soldiers who receive them, says Roger Meyer, public affairs for the Warrior Transition Unit.

“The soldiers are thrilled to receive this kind of support from the community,” Meyer said. “It’s amazing to see these guys. They and their families go through a lot. It takes a team: doctors, nurses, administrators … and community members who offer their support become part of that team.”

Stone Creek’s timing is right. November is the Army’s Warrior Care Month.

“Taking care of soldiers is something we do every day, said Brig. Gen. Darryl Williams, assistant surgeon general for Warrior Care and Commander, Warrior Transition Command.

Most people think of the combat injured when they hear someone say “warrior care.”

“Taking care of our combat-injured is warrior care,” Williams said. “Warrior care is also preventing illnesses and keeping soldiers healthy and ready to deploy.”

There are 29 Warrior Transition Units at Army installations and nine community-based Warrior Transition Units across the country. Williams says their priorities for the wounded, ill and injured focus on education, training and employment.

A Warrior Transition Unit is a place for soldiers to heal, and plan futures for themselves and their families, Meyer said.

“If they want to active duty, we help them transition back into the Army. If they choose something different, we help them transition into civilian life.”

Marie Sulahian is with Where the Heart Is Life Skills Enrichment Programs. She’s the designer and owner of Patterns of Joy Sewing. She teamed up with Amy Morrison to help teach kids to sew the pennants.

Along with the sewing, there’s a quick lesson about the Purple Heart of Merit.

“They wanted to be part of it. It was a great experience and opened their hearts. They want to thank the soldiers for their sacrifice,” Sulahian said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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