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America Supports You: 'Hero Card' Thanks Servicemembers

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2005 – Jordan Pearson drew a simple picture of a heart and colored it red, white and blue to send to her dad, an Air Force intelligence officer deployed on Operation Enduring Freedom.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Jordan Pearson poses with her father, Air Force Maj. Richard Pearson, who was deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom, where he received special cards she designed that inspired the "Hero Card." Courtesy Photo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Now Jordan's heart could touch the hearts of thousands of servicemembers fighting the war on terror.

The Coloring Card Company, a New Jersey firm that creates a line of unique greeting cards with black and white illustrations by children around the country, used Jordan's drawing for a new "Hero Card." "Jordan's drawing and the story behind it inspired us to create the Hero Card so that all children could send a heartfelt thanks to their heroes local and abroad," said company founder Paul Marciano.

Marciano said his company has made an individual version of the Hero Card available as a free download on from the Web, hoping that the cards will go to military personnel and civilian first-responders, such as firefighters and police officers.

"We are only blessed to be here because of what our military does for us," he said. "Whether you're for or against the war, you've got to be for the troops. You got to remember why they are there and what they are doing for us. I walk around every day feeling blessed, safe and secure for what they do."

Marciano, a Yale graduate with a doctorate in child clinical psychology, said he found the message inside the card as inspiring as the drawing itself.

"One day my daddy told me he had to go away," Jordan wrote in her card. "He said he had to keep me and my family safe. I missed him very much so I drew him this special heart to show him how much I love him. I colored it like the flag because my daddy says we love America and the flag. My daddy is my hero."

Karen Pearson, Jordan's mother, submitted her daughter's drawing to the company after finding it among the items her husband, Maj. Richard Pearson, brought back from his deployment to Qatar and Yemen. She said Jordan, who was 6 at the time, would constantly send little drawings and letters to her dad while he was away.

"When I saw this drawing, it just clicked with me," she said. "It was obviously special for him to keep, and the more I looked at it, it just really symbolized what America means to our children."

"They just know that they love our country; they love the flag," Karen Pearson noted. "She (Jordan) just knew he was over there to help keep us safe."

Meanwhile, Marciano, whose personal theme in life is "Freedom Isn't Free, But Saying Thank You Is," said he is hopeful the Hero Card will inspire children to express their gratitude to heroes of all types, and to "instill core values in children, such as patriotism, saying 'thank you' and giving."

In the summer of 2004, Jordan's classmates at Alafia Elementary School in Valrico, Fla., colored Hero Cards and sent them to troops recovering at Washington's Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Jordan also sent one to President Bush thanking him on his inauguration.

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