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 Rene “J. R.” Lund, a US Army Reserve veterinarian, plays the jumbotron, Bella, as she is known, turned around and saw her mother 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 as soon as possible, sometime in October,” Lund, who is on the 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 set up government-sponsored programs for villagers. When a friend who volunteers at football games in Wisconsin suggested that she surprise Bella, a Badger fan, at a game, Lund said the idea hadn’t even crossed her mind.