National Guard “Dirt Warriors” celebrate homecoming in Johnston
Jun 25, 2011 | by Adam Belz |
Aiden Parmenter couldn’t wait.
The 3-year-old boy broke rank midway through a major general’s speech. He hopped off his father’s lap and ran across the gymnasium floor to his grandmother, Lt. Col. Mary Parmenter, who was just back from Afghanistan, standing in formation next to the podium.
The two had seen each other only once, briefly, in the past 12 months, and she folded him in her arms while 1,200 people watched. Then she handed him a rose and sent him bouncing back across the gym while the crowd roared its approval.The “Dirt Warriors” came home on Saturday after nearly a year in Afghanistan. The Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team started or expanded six demonstration farms in Kunar Province along the border with Pakistan, underwrote the planting of 70,000 trees for orchards and reforestation, trained hundreds of Afghan men and women in farming and started a paid internship program for young Afghan agricultural professionals...
Much more, with details of the great work they did while deployed. (but no pictures) here.