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The phrase, "I'd like to thank the academy," is usually reserved for Hollywood types who walk red carpets, not airmen who scurry the mountains of Afghanistan documenting the work of deployed soldiers.
But Capt. Peter Shinn has reason to thank the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which has deemed him an Emmy Award-winning airman.
"It really took a few minutes for it to sink in," said Shinn, an Air Force Officer Training School instructor and member of the Iowa Air National Guard. "But when it did, I was like, ‘Hey, I just won an Emmy.' "
Shinn won for video footage he shot that was included in an Iowa Public Television broadcast of "Iowa Soldiers Remember Afghanistan," which aired on Veterans Day 2011. The program won the 2012 Emmy for best military program in the Upper Midwest Region, and he shares the honor with the program's producer and director David Miller and a whole list of other contributors.
Shinn captured the work of soldiers deployed as part of the 734th Agribusiness Development Team, which deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. Shinn said he sought to show the team's work with local nationals and the strides the team made building trust with the Afghan people. He said that it is a story that gets told, but not often enough.
When Miller went looking for material for an Iowa Public Television program, he was introduced to Shinn — and the rest is history. As he was putting together the nomination packet for the award, he listed the captain's name as part of the production team. Miller said he didn't know if the team would win, but he wanted to make sure everyone got credit.
"Without Capt. Shinn I wouldn't have been able to make this happen," Miller said. "He provided me with still photographs, his video pieces … and just his personal commentary about his experience that made it possible for me to put this piece together.
"He made it possible for me to tell this story," Miller said.
Shinn said he was honored to win, but showcasing the Emmy comes with a price: He must pay $325 for his statuette.