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CA Natl. Guard aid Afghan farms, return home

August 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A group of California National Guard soldiers who helped Afghanistan farmers overseas returned home on Sunday.While they did see combat, fighting wasn't their main objective. These soldiers were there to teach Afghanistan farmers new agricultural methods.

The soldiers spent a year in Afghanistan, completing 155 agricultural missions that included teaching Afghans new farming techniques.

"The average farmer there, he kind of has to take a risk. He grows wheat in hopes to make enough to make bread for his family, but sometimes he doesn't," described California National Guard Capt. Robert Perry.

They treated more than 20,000 animals on farms, giving them proper veterinarian care and providing vaccinations. The mission aimed to bring Afghanistan farmers closer to independence.

The soldiers also spent time in the battlefield, supporting four military missions.