Veterans surprised with Valentine’s Day goodies

A group of 60 unsuspecting veterans at Iowa Veterans Home got a surprise on Valentine’s Day, thanks to volunteers from the Marshalltown Central Business District’s Adopt-A-Veteran program.

Volunteers visited the residents in their rooms and provided a cupcake, card and a $5 coupon to the IVH canteen as part of their annual Valentine’s Day effort.

“This just makes sure they know people are still thinking about them and care about them,” said Randy Kessler, director of the Adopt-A-Veteran program. “They really get a kick out of it.”

Much like the volunteers do for Christmas, veterans are selected based on the fact they don’t have family around and wouldn’t normally get gifts on the holiday.

Erin Scott and Emily Hoeksema were two of the group of volunteers and they paired up delivering the surprises.

“I love doing this,” Scott said. “They do so much for us that we should do something for them.”

Hoeksema loved the reaction they were getting from veterans.

“It brightens their day,” Hoeksema said.

An added surprise came from the fact one volunteer, Kayla Ball of Rhodes, delivered cupcakes in her Iowa National Guard uniform.