Jul 28, 2014
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Marine 'Patched' Through to Local Student

After emailing Johnston Patch seeking help to contact a Johnston student, Master Gunnery Sgt. Ishmael Castillo gets his wish — and gives Gian Paola of Johnston quite a surprise.

Less than a week ago, U.S. Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. Ishmael Castillo contacted JohnstonPatch by email, asking for help in reaching Gian Paola, a student at .

"I have to accomplish my mission in letting the young motivator know [that] I got the letter he wrote to 'any Marine' in Afghanistan," Castillo wrote from his base in Kabul.

Paola was one of hundreds of local students who wrote to U.S. service members in February through the Marine Families Care Package Project — but the only one from Ferri Middle School (so far) who received an answer.

On May 7, we delivered Castillo's letter to Gian, as well as photos of Castillo and his unit — and we helped Castillo provide a surprise.

Watch the accompaying video to see what it was!

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