PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Lt. Colonel Chuck Sargent of the Air Force Reserves addressed students at Moon Area Middle School Monday.

“I’m part of the 911th Airlift Wing,” he said. “We’re right over across the street. And this is our group when we deploy.”

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The Moon Township resident commanded a 911th squadron based in Qatar. Among those in the audience is his fifth grade son, Chandler.

“He’s overseas and it’s kind of emotional sometimes,” Chandler says. “And I just try to keep the tears away, and it’s just very hard.”

Father and son have been helped by Chandler’s classmates. Students wrote letters to all 120 911th members in Qatar.

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“It’s just nice to help them when they’ve been helping us for so long,” one says.

“It makes them feel special that they’re still in our minds when we write to them, and that we care about them,” says another. “And it makes us feel special when they write back.”

“It’s very special,” Lt. Colonel Sargent says, “because I know it takes time to sit down and give some thought to the questions, and draw a picture. It’s very personalized.”

Chandler agrees. “Makes me feel that I have more than one person worrying about my dad overseas. And makes me feel happy.”

But the happiest part of all is when his dad comes home.

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