80 local National Guard Soldiers leave for training, Middle East

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) After their training in Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, 80 New York National Guard Soldiers will spend ten months in the Middle East. Today, the troops attached to the 42nd Infantry Division said goodbye to their families on Patriot Way in Rochester near the airport.

Major Joseph Laiosa says they are well prepared for the coming mission. “It’s time to get it going. Get over there, do our job, and come back to our families,” MAJ Laiosa said.

According to a press release, the division has been preparing for this deployment for two years.

Upon arrival, Major General Steven Ferrari with the 42nd Infantry Division will assume command over Task Force Spartan. Spartan maintains U.S. posture in Southwest Asia to strengthen defense relationships. Units will support Operation Spartan Shield with aviation, logistics, force protection and information management.

Representative Joe Morelle (D-NY 25th District) was on-hand to salute the Soldiers. “As members of the 42nd Infantry, you are continuing a distinguished and proud tradition of service,” Morelle said.

Sergeant Major David Oliver said this will be his fourth deployment overseas, and he’s already can’t wait to get back to his family.

“You miss birthdays, anniversaries, miss the family. You know, I’ve got a whole life here, I have a civilian job so I’ll miss that and basically everything about home,” SGM Oliver said.

While deployed, Corporal Garett Heale plans to spend a lot of time with his family, even from thousands of miles away. 

“Super sad to leave, but we have amazing technology, so I’ll be able to see her almost everyday on some kind of technology,” CPL Heale said.

While they are deploying as a team, MAJ Laiosa says it’s always the family that helps get Soldiers through the time away.

“We couldn’t do this. None of us could deploy without the support of our family like this,” MAJ Laiosa said.

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