Morgan Mill students hosted a special guest Monday - a soldier who just returned from Afghanistan.

In November, about the time students served a homecooked Thanksgiving dinner to Fort Hood soldiers and about 800 Erath County residents, they dropped letters in the mail to soldiers serving overseas.

Those handwritten letters brought tears and happiness to soldiers in Afghanistan and other areas of southern Asia. On Monday, a small stack of letters ended up back at the Morgan Mill school where one appreciative recipient visited children after returning to Fort Hood last week.

"It was a tough year and those letters from home made everything so much better" Lt. Col. Gerald L'Ecuyer told the students. "I read those letters weekly. Every desk in our work area always had a stack of letters from home that soldiers frequently picked up to read."

L'Ecuyer also stressed the importance of education and achieving goals.

"You can do anything you want as long as you set your mind to it," L'Ecuyer said. "You may think to yourself 'no one from Morgan Mill is going to be a celebrity or solve the world's problems.' Let me assure you each and every one of you can - and it all starts right here in this rock school."

L'Ecuyer told students to broaden themselves through education in order to reach for the stars and accomplish their dreams.

"With your education, you can be whatever you want to be," L'Ecuyer said.

For 12 months, L'Ecuyer served at an undisclosed location of Southeast Asia operating under the radar of other countries. Before then, he served tours of duty in Kuwait supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and other military stints both domestic and abroad. One week ago, he completed his active military service and returned to American soil where he was greeted by his wife. The couple left Fort Hood and embarked on a road trip to their Maplesville, Alabama home visiting students along the way.

After departing from Morgan Mill, L'Ecuyer met with students at Dallas Park Elementary.