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Second-grader hand-delivers thank you letters to unsuspecting veterans

Second-grader hand-delivers thank you letters to unsuspecting veterans. (WCTI/Merrilee Moore)

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WCTI) - A second-grader went the extra mile to thank veterans Friday by hand-delivering dozens of letters from him and his classmates at Ogden Elementary School.

"They help our country and they help the United States of America and I think the United States of America is a great country," Stephen Lytle said. "When I grow up, I wanna be in the Marine Corps."

Even though Stephen's not old enough to be in the military yet, he has a lot of admiration for those who have served.

That's the reason Stephen decided to hand-deliver the letters, thanking veterans for their service at the Veterans Day ceremony hosted by the Onslow County Disabled American Veterans in Jacksonville.

"My grandad used to be in the reserves and we're going to Camp Lejeune later today," Stephen said. "He took me here and I delivered them."

How did Stephen collect all of the letters from his fellow first- and second-graders? Well, it involved social media.

"My mom went on Facebook and got Miss Page from her class to write them and my teacher for my class to write them," Stephen said.

"It makes you feel good," Elgin Barnhill, a Navy and Air Force veteran, said about receiving the letters. "I have four -- I have one boy and three girls and they're the apple of my eye. Anyway, it makes me feel good."

Stephen also received a challenge coin from one of the many thankful veterans, who was touched by his actions.

"I'm gonna put it in my collection of Marine Corps stuff," Stephen said.

Some veterans are even planning on writing the boy back to thank him for his thoughtfulness.

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