Marines meet students who sent care packages to Afghanistan - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Marines meet students who sent care packages to Afghanistan

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CARLSBAD, Calif. (CBS 8) - It was a special day for several middle and high school students in Carlsbad. Thursday they met with dozens of hero Marines who they kept in touch with over the past year through letters and care packages.

After e-mailing for months, Marines from Camp Pendleton adopted by ninth graders finally got to meet face to face.

"I think it's really important to help out military. They really aren't appreciated enough I think in current society, and we really need to help them, and I think this group has helped them be appreciated," ninth grader Dillon Lerach said.

The students started e-mailing the Marines when they deployed to Afghanistan in September, but wanting to do more. They also sent care packages.

"They wanted a lot of energy drinks because they had caravan rides up to 18 hours, they wanted candy and magazines - anything to help them keep in touch with what's happening in America," Lerach said.

For the Marines, it meant a lot and taught them they're not forgotten.

"America's a place that makes life worth living. Afghanistan - it's rough over there, but I think working with them, what it gave to me was how great American people are, specifically San Diego county. More specifically, how special this school is and the things they're doing here - really, really nice," Lt. Matt McCallum said.

The Marines finally returned home April 22 and visited Pacific Ridge School Thursday - on their own free time - to say thanks.

Now that the marines are home - this pen pal relationship will come to an end, but the students had such a great experience they now plan to hook up with another platoon heading to Afghanistan to send more care packages.

The students also gave the Marines video cameras that they took with them to Afghanistan to document their experiences. Students say they are excited to see the images that were captured.

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