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180 Local soldiers get deployed
LATHAM --180 Latham based soldiers gathered at Shaker High School Saturday morning, getting ready to deploy to Kuwait later this fall to provide avation support to military forces based in that country.
But it's the nation's proximity to Syria, that has service members and their families concerned.
We asked Christian Saaredra if he has been monitoring the situation in Syria. It's his second time being deployed to the region and tells us he avoids the news reports.
"I try not to, I try not to stress myself out."
It was a mix of emotions saturday, as hundreds of men and women get ready to get deployed. Some excited, some nervous, and some a combination of the two.
"I'm going to miss my family of course but as a junior pilot I'm very excited i'm deploying with a lot of very experienced pilots, so I'm eager to learn everything I can while I'm over there," one servicemen tells us.
"We'll be partnering with some other countries doing training exercises, and again as an aviation unit we're going to fly soldiers around and train and that's our capacity of what we're going to do," Col. Albert Ricci, commander of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade tells us.
Meanwhile the families left behind are ready to step up in the absence of their loved ones.
"So we'll be there, I'll be taking over all the duties of the house, I'll be helping with snow removal, and yard care, and everything else that needs to be done. I'm going to be stepping into my sons shoes," Robert Stockton, father of a soldier tells us.
He like many is anxiously waiting for these brave men and women to come home next year, and safely.
"Inherently as an aviation unit what we do on a daily basis is very dangerous. a split second decision sometimes, it can cost lives, the environment, the weather, that all comes into effect, of how we train and how we take care of ourselves," Ricci says.
The soldiers will be on federal active duty for 12 months and spend about nine months in Kuwait. Before heading overseas, troops will begin a training process at Fort Hood Texas. We're told many of these soldiers preparing for deployment assisted in aviation emergency response during Superstorm Sandy, Tropical Storm Irene and Lee, as well as flooding in the Mohawk Valley.