By Steve Marshall
National Guard Bureau
MINNEAPOLIS (10/25/12) - An Iowa Air National Guardsman has won an Emmy for videography in Afghanistan and members of the Minnesota National Guard received their third Emmy at the Upper Midwest Emmy Gala.
The shared Minnesota win was awarded for a partnership with Hubbard Broadcasting and a Saint Paul-based civic organization, Serving Our Troops.
Since 2004, Serving our Troops, working with Hubbard Broadcasting and the Minnesota National Guard, has served up more than 70,000 steak dinners to troops serving in combat zones overseas and simultaneously to their families in Minnesota.
Video teleconferencing linked the troops to their families during dinner. Although Skype is second nature now for distance communications, it wasn’t in 2004.
This makes the Minnesota National Guard’s third Emmy nod, including wins in 2006 and 2008.
U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn of Omaha was a key part of the team that put together Iowa Soldiers Remember Afghanistan, which aired on Iowa Public Television on Veterans’ Day in 2011. The program won the 2012 Emmy for best Military Program in the Upper Midwest Region.
David Miller produced Iowa Soldiers Remember Afghanistan for Iowa Public Television. The program chronicled the 2010-2011 deployment of Iowa National Guard troops with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team and 734th Agribusiness Development Team (ADT) then documented their feelings about the deployment after returning home.
Shinn served as the ADT’s public affairs officer, producing the in-theater portions of the program and providing Miller with footage of the ADT’s work in Afghanistan.
“Capt. Shinn was integral to this production,” Miller said. “Without Capt. Shinn's video of the 734th ADT, I would not have been able to properly tell the story about Iowans serving in Afghanistan."
According to the United States Army website, the Army National Guard has employed the Agribusiness Development Team concept successfully in Central America for approximately 20 years.
The National Guard Bureau transferred this successful model to Afghanistan. Composed of Citizen-Soldiers with farming and agribusiness expertise, team members trained and advised Afghan universities, provincial ministries, and farmers. Through daily community engagement, the teams helped improve Afghan farming practices leading to more sustainable food production.
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Craig Bargfrede of Ankeny, Iowa, commanded the ADT. Bargfrede now serves as the assistant adjutant general, Army, for the Minnesota National Guard, and he praised Shinn’s work in Afghanistan.
"Capt. Shinn told the ADT story superbly,” Bargrede said, “so I'm not surprised to hear he won this award."
Shinn now is a student squadron commander for the Air National Guard’s Academy of Military Science within the Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. In addition to leading young men and women through their training to earn an officer’s commission, Shinn participates in the professional development of his fellow staff and faculty at the Air University.
“Iowa Soldiers was about the men and women of the ADT,” Shinn said. “They risked their lives every day to improve conditions for ordinary Afghans, and the real honor was working with them.”
(Contributing: U.S. Air Force Col. Edward Vaughan of The Air University and the Minnesota National Guard)