Local Navy sailor surprises 6th graders who sent dozens of care packages to his ship

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler Hull made a surprise visit Monday to a group of sixth graders in the North Kansas City School District.

Hull wanted to personally thank the children who sent dozens of care packages to his aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, during the holiday season.

The ship just arrived back on US soil last week after a 295-day deployment -- the longest since the Cold War era. Their deployment was extended for three months due to the escalating tensions with Iran.

“When we get stuff like this, that goes a long way,” Hull said, “to show that there are people at home thinking about us supporting us.”

Lisa Hayden, a counselor at the Gateway 6th Grade Center, helped organize the shipment of candy, cards, toiletries and handmade artwork.

“I think this gave them the idea that there are people out there doing greater and grander things,” Hayden said, “and we can also have an impact on them. It’s not just what’s happening right here but halfway around the world.”

On Monday, the students behind the goodwill project were thrilled to see Hull visit in uniform.

“Well, I think it’s important that they know that we do thank them,” said Annika Adiga, a 6th grader. “And they’re not just out there for nothing and that we do really hope that they know that.”

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