STATEN ISLAND, New York (WABC) -- It was an emotional send-off Saturday on Staten Island as 230 New York-based soldiers said goodbye to their loved ones, as a New York division of the National Guard departed in advance of long-term deployment.
The guardsmen will spend some time training in Texas before heading to the Middle East - a region that is growing more and more hostile by the day with U.S. and Iranian airstrikes.
Command Sergeant Major Corey Cush has been through this before. He entered active duty back in 1986 and has been deployed to Afghanistan.
"It's mixed emotions, right. There's a lot of excitement associated with this mission we are about to do. But there is, of course, sadness for leaving your family for a year," he said.
Command Sergeant Cush had advice for those deploying for the first time.
"Be focused, pick a goal, stay with that goal, and you'll see how fast time will go by," he said.
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Over 200 New York-based soldiers depart for long-term deployment