Less than a week before Valentine’s Day, students at one Schenectady elementary school paid tribute to our nation’s veterans Thursday. Matt Hunter reports.

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – One week before Valentine's Day, local school children paid tribute to our nation's veterans. At Hamilton Elementary School in Schenectady, students handed out Valentine's Day cards to a group of veterans and active duty service members gathered for a special assembly.

The students prepared hundreds of additional cards for the men and women receiving care at the nearby V.A. hospital. For the young boys and girls, it served as an opportunity to say "thank you" to our nation's heroes.

"I wrote ‘thank you for making our country safe and making it so we can walk around and go to school,’ ” said Jaden Jones, a third grader.

"It felt pretty exciting, I was pretty nervous at first,” fourth grader Dillon Mitchell said. “You're standing right in front of the veterans and everything. It felt amazing."

Organized by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara's office, this marks the sixth year of the Valentines For Vets program, which takes place at more than a half-dozen elementary schools across the region.