Local troops from USS Cowpens deliver typhoon relief - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Local troops from USS Cowpens deliver typhoon relief

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diego-based sailors are taking action in the Philippines. The crew of the USS Cowpens arrived in the typhoon-ravaged country and immediately started helping distribute food, water and assistance.

The families of sailors on board the San Diego-based USS Cowpens say they couldn't be prouder to see their loved ones providing much needed relief to the people on the island of Leyte in the Philippines. Exclusive photos are giving all of us a rare glimpse into the work that's being done to help provide water, food, and supplies, especially a photo of William Casson, an air crewman working with the Cowpens handing out candy to a group of starving, yet smiling children.

"Oh it just warmed my heart, it brought tears to my eyes because it's showing that they're doing good," military wife Robin Snyder said.

Snyder's husband, Petty Officer Zachary Snyder, is making sure things run smoothly on the ship.

"He said you can see the devastation from the ship and it's just wiped out, there's no... it's heartbreaking," Robin said.

Command Master Chief Gabe Keeton, who CBS News 8 interviewed when the Cowpens deployed from San Diego in September, tells his wife amber this mission is truly rewarding.

"It really touched him and he thought, okay, and he thought this is what we're here for, to put a smile on their faces and just let a fellow man know people care," Amber Keeton said.

The Cowpens is bringing much relief to people here in the U.S. as well, including CBS News 8 associate producer Al Columbo, who has family in the Philippines and hasn't had an update from them in four days.

"The sailors are taking the care packages they got from loved ones and giving them to the kids," Columbo said.

The military families we spoke to miss their husbands and dads.

"It's been kind of sad. But happy he is out there helping the Philippines," sailor's son Haydon Holzhauer said.

"We miss him terribly. I mean every day is a struggle, but with him doing something good makes it a little easier. There's more to be thankful for this year," Snyder said.

The families say they're usually given very few updates about where their loved ones are, and the three wives we talked to Monday say this is one of the most high-profile deployments their husbands have had, with most certainly the biggest impact.

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