Departure ceremony held for local National Guard members - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Departure ceremony held for local National Guard members

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LATHAM, N.Y. -- The 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade will soon be heading to Kuwait with the mission to help American military forces in that country.

The men and women based in Latham will be of 450 New York National Guard soldiers deploying the next few weeks.

The soldiers will fall under the command of Col. Albert Ricci when they land on foreign soil.

Col. Ricci tells NEWS10 the aviation unit is inherently very dangerous.

"It's a split second decision. It can cost lives," he said.

This will be the commander's second deployment as a member of the New York National Guard.

But for some,  like 1st Lt. Christopher Stockton, it will be their first time.

"There's no easy way to describe it. It's just something that I have to do," said 1st Lt. Stockton.

But, 1st Lt. Stockton is no stranger to serving. The Clifton Park resident is also a New York State Trooper.

He's dedicated to service and he decided to join the army. He did that a number of years ago. He has decided that this is an important part of his function as a public server," explained his father, Robert Stockton.

Like many other soldiers, 1st Lt. Stockton will be missing holidays and birthdays. But the Stockton family say they will figure out creative ways to celebrate.

"I'll have access to Skype and Facetime so I'll be able to be there virtually," said 1st Lt. Stockton.

The 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade will be deployed in Kuwait for about a year.

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