Send-off ceremony for Wis. National Guard members deploying - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Send-off ceremony for Wis. National Guard members deploying to Afghanistan

MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin National Guard leaders and Governor Scott Walker joined family and friends Thursday morning in sending off the 97th Agribusiness Development Team in Madison.

The 97th ADT will work with people in Afghanistan on techniques and practices as part of the Kunar provincial reconstruction team. They aim to help expand agribusiness, create jobs, and reduce poverty there. "Once we get to Afghanistan, our major role now is going to be a mentor and advisor to the Afghan officials at different government levels," Captain Craig Giese said.

It was an emotional ceremony for a lot of family members. "My family's always been very supportive of what I do but it's hard separating just like anytime. Whether it's one day or a year it's hard," Sgt. Jason Walters said. For newly engaged Sgt. Shawn Vradenburg and his fiance Ashley Suapaia, deployment is still taking time to sink in. "I don't think it's hit me yet that he's actually leaving," Suapaia said.

The 97th ADT will head to Camp Atterbury, Indiana for several weeks of mobilization training before deploying to Afghanistan.


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