Elmo and United War Veterans Council bring Goodwill Valentine’s Caravan to Fort Ham

United War Veterans Council brings Elmo to base kids for Valentine’s Day

Brooklyn Daily
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Fort Hamilton’s kids just got tickled by Elmo!

The beloved “Sesame Street” Muppet stopped by to delight 75 children at the Child Development Center at Fort Hamilton Army Garrison on Feb. 7 — part of a Valentine’s Day gift to the base’s servicemembers from the United War Veterans Council.

It was the first time the character or the charitable group had stopped at Fort Ham during the group’s 8-year-old Goodwill Valentine’s Caravan, a tour of military installations that starts at West Point and ends at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in West Virginia. But the Council said it definitely will not be the last time it brings its love train through Brooklyn.

“We hope it will be a tradition going forward. The kids were so adorable and they just loved it. Elmo was a big hit,” said Molly Levi, the Council’s volunteer manager and director of communications.

The fuzzy red monster hugged and played with the kiddies, and the Council handed out stuffed animals, toys, and American flags. Elmo then waved the flag as the boys and girls recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

“It was just beautiful,” said Levi.

The Council also brought a load of valentines cards for the base’s military personnel — all of them handmade by regular citizens, mostly in the five boroughs.

“Patriots, everyday men and women made valentines they wanted to give to the military. We get a lot of Brooklyn people making them,” said Pat Gualpieri, the Council’s executive director.

Levi said her organization first formed a relationship with Elmo and the rest of the “Sesame Street” gang through the New York City Veteran’s Day Parade, which the Muppets march in and the Council runs.

“We developed an affinity with ‘Sesame Street,’ and so we invited Elmo to come to Fort Hamilton with us,” said Levi.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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