Madison
39° F
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
Advertisement

Wis. soldiers sent to help Afghan farmers

Published On: Jan 30 2013 12:52:23 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 03 2013 09:13:56 PM CST

About a dozen members of the Wisconsin National Guard are heading to Afghanistan to help farmers.

MADISON, Wis. -

About a dozen members of the Wisconsin National Guard are heading to Afghanistan to help farmers.

The members of the 97th Agribusiness Development Team were sent off at a ceremony at Joint Force Headquarters in Madison Thursday and will replace the 82nd Agribusiness Development Team in Kunar Province.

They will work with Afghan farmers on techniques to more effectively farm and herd, to expand agribusiness and to turn subsistence farmers to profitable farmers.

Current projects there include demonstration farms, education and training, and women's programs.

Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin National Guard leaders were at the send-off, along with family and friends.

As the soldiers sow the seeds of an Afghan future, they'll be holding strong to the roots back home during their year-long deployment.

"It's just a small time apart," said Ashley Suapaia, arm-in-arm with her fiance, Sgt. Shawn Vradeenburg.

"Get engaged and then leave for a year," said Vradenburg, "That's fine, right babe?"

Marriage will have to wait for Vradenburg's return from Afghanistan -- the first time he'll be away from his bride-to-be.

"We can talk over Skype and stuff like that, but you can't get the physical hug and care like that," said Suapaia. "Just the quality time of being with him is one thing I'm going to miss the most."

Shawn Vradeenburg's father, Corey Vradeenburg, embraced his son one last time Thursday before deployment.

"I'm proud of you," Corey Vradenburg told his son.

The 97th Agribusiness Development Team is now heading to Camp Atterbury, Ind., for several weeks of mobilization training before its deployment to Afghanistan.

Advertisement
  • PHOTOS: Viewers drop off sensitive documents for Shredfest

    The WISC-TV studio parking lot was busy with hundreds of viewers bringing their sensitive documents to be destroyed as part of Shredfest with the Better Business Bureau Saturday morning.

    A combined 1,295 cars dropped off bags of papers at WISC-TV on Raymond Road and SVA Certified Public Accountants firm on John Q. Hammons Drive.

    News 3 and Better Business Bureau team members unloaded bags of documents from viewers' cars and Pellitteri Waste Systems' Data Destruction team put the papers into the shredding trucks.

  • Earthquake in Nepal 12

    Omar Havana/Getty Images

    Earthquake kills hundreds in Nepal

    A 7.8 magnitude earthquake centered less than 50 miles from Kathmandu rocked Nepal with devastating force early Saturday, killing at least 1,400 people -- and probably more -- in Nepal's capital city, authorities said. 

  • Bruce Jenner

    Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational

    Most memorable celebrity interviews

    Bruce Jenner will talk with Diane Sawyer in a highly anticipated interview on Friday night. Look back at some of the other memorable celebrity interviews from over the years.

Advertisement