Kentucky National Guard troops receive 82nd Airborne Division combat patches

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Paul Evans, KY ADT 4 Unit Public Affairs & Historian Representative

Click here for more photos of this event.

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Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team 4 Sgt. 1st Class Michele Owen (left), a resident of Bowling Green, Ky. receives her combat patch from ADT 4 Commander Col. Tommy Barrier (right), a resident of Versailles, Ky. during a ceremony on March 14, 2012. The ceremony is typically meant to commemorate an Army unit serving more than thirty days in country by awarding them the patch of their commanding unit to be worn on the right shoulder. In ADT 4’s case, their commanding unit was Fort Bragg, N.C.’s renowned 82nd Airborne Division. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Paul Evans)

FORWARD OPERATING BASE PASAB, Afghanistan— After a day of hard work at their base in Southern Afghanistan, the Soldiers, Airmen, and civilian agricultural specialists from Kentucky’s Agribusiness Development Team 4 gathered in their tent made into a makeshift conference room to mark a very special occasion: the ceremony awarding them their first combat patch of the deployment, belonging to the world renowned 82nd Airborne Division.

“The one thing that scares the Taliban more than anything is unity of effort. By wearing this patch, we’re unifying with the 82nd, which scares the Taliban, that’s a good day,” said ADT 4 executive officer Maj. Walter Leaumont, a native of Lexington, Ky.

Generally, it is tradition to have a ceremony awarding all of a unit’s Soldiers the patch they will wear on their right sleeve displaying who they worked for while deployed after 30 days in country. ADT 4 had to wait a couple of weeks longer due to slow supply systems making it difficult to acquire 82nd Airborne patches on their small base in the mountains of southern Afghanistan.

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Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team 4 Master Sgt. Donald Brewer (center), a resident of Louisville, Ky. receives his combat patch as ADT 4 Commander Col. Tommy Barrier (right) and Executive Officer Maj.Walter Leaumont look on during a ceremony on March 14, 2012. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Paul Evans)

“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Spc. Preston Perry, a native of Benton, Ky. now residing in Lexington. “I feel very honored to wear the 82nd Airborne patch.  I’ve waited a long time for this and I feel very honored that the day finally came,” he added.

“When you’re a young paratrooper, the only thing you want is that 82nd Combat patch,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Bucky Harris, a Leitchfield, Ky. native who is a former member of the 82nd.

As for the ADT’s mission to help teach improved farming and business techniques to local Afghan farmers, Perry is optimistic.

“There’s still stuff to learn every day, but I feel like I learn more and more as the days go on. I have a lot of intelligent people around me,” Perry said. “Our people are very well trained, very experienced, and the fact that we all get to serve together like this on a hand selected team is a very great deal,” he added.

“My family’s real proud of me. I think they wake up every day proud to know that I’m over here fighting for a good cause,” Perry concluded.

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