Fort Meade elementary students opened their hearts to wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Valentine's Day weekend, while First Army Division East spouses lent a hand to make the project a success.

School Aged Services coordinated and funded this month's community outreach project designed to make cards, heart-shaped cloth pockets filled with candy, pictures and encouraging messages as Valentine's Day gifts for our nation's wounded service members.

"Students ... [wanted] to make some of the wounded warriors at Walter Reed feel better," said Vivian Rush, program associate for Child, Youth & School Services.

Rush, the spouse of a Division East Soldier, contacted other Division East spouses, who volunteered to teach students how to sew and decorate the fabric.

The students thought about the importance of their pictures, messages and words of encouragement. "I wrote 'hopeful' because I think after the Soldiers get their cards, they'll feel hopeful about their treatment and about leaving the hospital soon," said fifth-grader Brianna Hogan.

This month's project to help wounded warriors is part of Fort Meade's School Aged Services' focus on building character.