The Wisconsin Badgers beat the Purdue Boilermakers 41-10 on Saturday, but the real win of the game came when a Wisconsin graduate and Army reservist surprised his 13-year-old daughter after serving six months in Afghanistan. Daughter Isabella Lund of Madison thought she stood on the field next to the Wisconsin mascot “Bucky Badger” to be honored as the war child of the game.
After being introduced to the field and watching a clip of her mom, Captain Jane René “Junior” Lund, a U.S. Army Reserve veterinarian, playing the jumbotron, Bella, as she is known, turned around to see her mom. standing there in real life. “The last time I spoke to her, I told her that I was still in Afghanistan, but we were hoping to pack and return home soon, sometime in October,” Lund, who is on service since April. “She thought I was still in Afghanistan.”
Lund, 36, came up with the idea to surprise her daughter while she was abroad in Afghanistan, where she helped train veterinarians and run state-sponsored programs for villagers. When a friend who volunteers at football games in Wisconsin suggested that she surprise Bella, a Badgers fan, at a game, Lund said the idea hadn’t even crossed her mind. “I said, ‘I didn’t even know it was an option,’” she recalls.