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Students & "their soldier"

GEORGETOWN -- A kindergarten class at Pinecrest Elementary got to meet the soldier they've been sending cards and care packages to since the beginning of the year.
GEORGETOWN -- A kindergarten class at Pinecrest Elementary got to meet the soldier they've been sending cards and care packages to since the beginning of the year. Harley Ragel is a lieutenant for the Navy and has spent the past six months in Afghanistan.

Last month, he returned home to Virginia. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau has the story of the students and their soldier.

Lt. Ragel's mother-in-law is the students' teacher. At the beginning of the year, she started sharing stories about him with her class. They decided they wanted to help.

"So, I put a box behind my desk and everyday food came in."

"We've been sending cards and boxes because he's our soldier."

"It was kind of overwhelming because of all the packages I got. They probably sent 90% of them."

After months overseas, Lt. Ragel finally got to meet his "cool kindergarteners."

"I got a lot of mail, most of it came from the cool kindergarten."

During his time in Afghanistan, they sent him more than 20-boxes.

"It ranged from candy to ramen noodles to tuna. They sent me pictures of themselves or they would draw me pictures."

And dozens of cards.

"I'm not from Georgetown, but I felt like I was."

"Emotional. Exciting. Very exciting. They have been looking forward to this for weeks."

So much so they had shirts made and wrote Lt. Ragel a book. Parents also got together to make him a meal.

"Getting to see their faces and see how happy they were. It was nice."

And a great honor for "their soldier Harley."

"Not only is Harley our hero, these little kids are heroes also, and their parents. They're hometown heroes."

The American Legion also took time out to honor Lt. Ragel Tuesday. He and his kids were given an award for his service.
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