Parsippany students had an opportunity Monday to brighten U.S. soldiers' Valentine's Day. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen and Master Sgt. James Vigilante, fresh from serving in Afghanistan, visited students at Eastlake Elementary School and inspired them to create holiday cards for those recuperating after being injured in the line of duty.
"These messages from students lift the spirits of veterans confined to a hospital on Valentine's Day," said Frelinghuysen, a Vietnam War veteran.
"It is also an important way for young people to learn more about the sacrifices made by Americans in uniform. Veterans made our nation great, and we must never forget all they have done to ensure our freedom."
Vigilante, a 19-year member of the U.S. Air Force reserves and a former Parsippany Township Council member, spent about six months in Afghanistan last year loading and unloading supplies for troops in the field.
Valentines from the students ill be delivered to veterans at the Lyons Veterans Administration Medical Center and to Army SPC Derek McConnell, a Parsippany resident recuperating at the Walter Reed Military Medical Center from wounds he sustained in Afghanistan in 2011.