Bronx soldiers say goodbye to family, friends

More than 100 New York Army National Guard soldiers bid their loved ones farewell at a ceremonial send-off Wednesday.

The soldiers are going on a yearlong rebuilding mission in Afghanistan. Bronx resident and soldier James Wetherington said he doesn?t want to let go of his family.

?It?d hard and it?s mixed feelings,? Wetherington said. ?I do want to go, but then I don?t want to leave my family behind.? This will be Wetherington?s first deployment since he joined the Army 10 years ago.

Many soldiers worry about what they will face while on the mission.

?What are the conditions like there?? Bronx soldier Morris Richardson asked. ?What are we going to be facing?? Richardson said he prays a lot and tries not to think about what is worrying him.

Wetherington said he wants to be a role model for his children by helping to train the Afghan National Army.

?That?s the motivation, we?re going to help another country and help a different people,? Wetherington said. ?Make them understand that this is what we?re here for.?

For footage of an interview with one of the departing soldiers, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and selext iO Extra.

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