Greenwood Elementary sent more than 150 letters and cards to members of the Rhode Island Army National Guard during “operation valentine.” Not expecting a response, they were surprised to see otherwise.
Operation valentine is a tradition at Greenwood.
Around Valentine’s Day, the entire school participates in creating cards and letters to be sent to a local nursing home, the Veteran Home and Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
Owen Greco, a sixth grader, had a different idea. He wanted to send his father, Staff Sergeant John Greco with the Rhode Island National Guard Special Operation Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, an operation valentine. Staff Sergeant Greco has been in an unknown location for several months.
His mother asked if the whole school could participate in sending the troops in Greco’s unit a surprise.
Cheryl Stacy, fifth grade teacher and co coordinator of student council, and Naomi Messier, sixth grade teacher and co coordinator of student council thought it was a great idea.
One morning Owen arrived at school to be called up to the teacher.
“I was kind of nervous,” he said. “I didn’t know what I did wrong.”
But, he saw a flag, and instantly knew whom it was from, as his mother had clued him in that his father might be sending something.
“It was my dad,” said Greco with a smile on his face.
Greco is very happy with his father’s letter of appreciation, flag, and badge sent to the school. They will be on display in the school showcase.
“We all did a really good job this year,” said Jacob Smith, Vice President of the student council.