he New York National Guard mobilized 650 soldiers for a long-planned deployment on Saturday, including 80 from the Rochester region.
Family members and other loved ones took part in the farewell event hosted by the New York National Guard’s 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters.
The mission to the U.S. Central Command area in the Middle East and Southwest Asia had been planned for the last two years.
Although the troops know that they are going to a volatile area of the world far away from their families, they say that it’s part of their duty.
“I’m sad I’m not going to see them,” said Lt. Col. Scott Polichette. “But it’s my duty as being part of the U.S. Army, to go on deployments like this.”
“Somebody has to do it,” he said. “If not me, then somebody is going to have to make the same sacrifice that I am.”
Farewell events also took place in Staten island and the Albany area.