Every year at Old Pointe Elementary School, students adopt a few soldiers with ties to the school.
They send cards, letters, drawings and care packages to their adoptive soldiers.
One of those men in uniform, Pfc. Thomas Greco, met with students at the school on Thursday while home on leave from Iraq.
Greco dropped out of Northwestern High School as soon as he was eligible to join the Army. He plans to make the Army his career.
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"It's something I've always wanted to do. It's something I love," he said. "I've always wanted to do something for my country."
Greco, 19, earned his GED and is eight months into his first overseas deployment. He is stationed in Tikrit, but he can't say much about what he's doing there because of military regulations.
Greco showed students pictures of Iraq, many of which involved children he met on the streets there.
Old Pointe students wanted to know how much Greco sleeps (three to four hours a night), what he eats (less than delicious Army rations) and how much stuff he carries around (about 150 pounds of gear). They asked what his first meal was when he got back in the United States (Wendy's), where he sleeps in Iraq (in a tent with a bunch of other guys) and if he's happy to be back home, to which Greco said: "There's nothing in the world like America. I miss it."
Students with relatives in the military were especially excited for Greco's visit.
"My uncle's in the war, and it's kind of nice to know what he's doing out there," fifth-grader Alexandria Putman said.
"I learned a lot, like what food my Uncle Josh has to eat," said Casie Dansby, another fifth-grader. "Now, I know why we had to send him so much food."
Fifth-grader Ashley Gooch's older brother, Andrew, is another soldier adopted by Old Pointe. Ashley said the project supports them and makes them feel nice.
"It makes me feel good because they know he's doing something nice, and they like that," she said.
Jo Ann Wishert, the music teacher at Old Pointe and Greco's grandmother, leads the Adopt a Soldier Project.
"As long as this war goes on, we'll keep doing it to honor our men and women," she said. "The children feel they are their real heroes."