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      Role model, pen pal soldier pays class surprise visit

      One area classroom got a big surprise Friday.

      Specialist Drew Hibner, a pen pal to the class, is dropping in on them because he is back from Afghanistan until January 18.

      The class at South Shelby Elementary School adopted Specialist Hibner, a deployed soldier, back in August of 2011.

      "This experience has been a treasure for me because Drew is a positive male role model for my students," Natalie Nuttall, cross category first grade through fifth grade teacher, told KHQA. "I am so blessed and can't wait to see their faces light up."

      The students write letters and send care packages each month to Hibner in Afghanistan and he writes each student back with a personal letter.

      Hibner has sent memorabilia from his base to the class as well.

      The kids were all decked out in their red, white and blue for this surprise assembly Friday and Specialist Hibner has arranged for pizza to be delivered.

      KHQA's Kristen Aguirre was there with the class, so don't forget to watch the moving video above!

      (Story by Kristen Aguirre.)