Coming Home: Captain JR Lund Reflects

It’s been an exciting few months for Captain Jane (JR) Lund, resident veterinarian at Globe University-Madison West. After a five month deployment in Afghanistan as a veterinary subject matter expert and animal husbandry specialist, Dr. Lund is back home and taking the opportunity to reflect on her deployment, connect with family and friends, and share her story. You can read more about her deployment here.

Jane Renee Lund, Globe University

What made JR and Bella’s reunion unique was that it was a mother-daughter reunion, which is somewhat uncommon.

Many will remember seeing her reunion with her daughter during a University of Wisconsin-Madison Badger football game.  That moment exploded on the internet and national news channels, such as CNN and Good Morning America.

Now that Dr. Lund has been home more than a month and the dust has settled, I wanted to check in with her to do a follow-up story. Here is what she has to share.

The big story recently was your surprise reunion with your daughter during the UW Badgers game. Can you reflect on that and how it came about?

“I was debating with my friend, Katie Olson, our veterinary technology program chair, what the best way was to handle the return with my daughter.  I didn’t know if I wanted her to meet me at the airport or if I wanted to try to surprise her.  Katie asked if I would surprise her at a Badger game if she could put it together.  I agreed but didn’t really think it would all work out. There were a lot of details that needed to fall into place for something that big to work out.

“I arrived back in Wisconsin late on a Thursday night. On Friday, I viewed a home that I had put an offer on which kept me pretty busy for that day. On Saturday, the vet school was having their annual tailgating party.  I stopped by there and saw lots of old friends.  While there Katie and I stayed in contact through text so we wouldn’t accidentally bump into each other.  Katie had told Bella that she was going to be the military child of the game because her mother was deployed.  She told me later that she was pretty nervous and shocked when they pulled her out onto the field.  Of course, she was even more surprised when she turned around and saw me.  Being able to pull off something like that was a really special event.

Globe University

JR’s work involved taking care of military dogs while she was deployed in Afghanistan.

“What I thought was even better was the support the community offered.  After the surprise, so many people came up to my daughter to share stories about what they went through when they had a parent deployed or to thank her.  It was really neat for me to see the amount of support and recognition there was for her.”

Now that you are back to civilian life, how has the transition been overall? Any challenges?

“Everyone has been wonderful with my transition back into my civilian life.  It is difficult to step away and then step back in.  I really have had to rely on a lot of people to fill me in on what has been going on while I was gone, particularly at work.”

You serve as our campus resident veterinarian. What have you noticed coming back to Globe specifically with our students, faculty and staff? Any surprises or benefits that came out of it?

“I gave a presentation about the deployment for Globe University-Madison West and Country View Veterinary Service.  People were very interested in the role a veterinarian may play in the military.  I think it also helped give a world perspective to our students.  I worked with veterinary technicians in Afghanistan in both a military and civilian capacity.  I think the lecture helped provide some world views that we sometimes forget about with our day-to-day tunnel vision.”

Globe University-Madison West

A welcome back reception was organized on campus which allowed Dr. Lund to share her experience.

Now that you are home, what have you been doing?

“Things have been busy.  I am back to work at Globe and have done some relief veterinary work.  I have also been back to drilling with the Reserves.  I purchased a house and have been enjoying that with family and friends.  I had friends and family watching my two horses, dog and two cats.  They have been reunited with us in the new house, too.”

This month, Globe Education Network is honoring our students, faculty and staff who served and are currently serving in the military. On behalf of our campus, we are so honored to have Captain Jane Lund on our team. We are all so thankful for her service and honor the work she has done in Afghanistan.