As the government shutdown battle in Washington continues to plague the nation, a group of area soldiers shipped out Friday to help protect the country. YNN's Geoff Redick has more on the deployment of Troy's 42nd Army Aviation Combat Brigade.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- "They're heading for Fort Hood, Texas. It's going to be a post-mobilization tour and they're gonna get some training before they head over to Kuwait," said New York National Guard Col. Philip Pugliese.
Eighty men and women from the Capital Region, helicopter attack pilots, mechanics, artillery experts…
"I'm already missing my family and my dogs, so that's tough," said Lt. Jean-Marie Kratzer.
…shipped out Friday for the unknown in Kuwait.
Pugliese said, "You know, they're gonna be away for a year. I've been there before myself."
"We do this for our country and we joined for our country," said Kratzer.
But it's a country shrouded in uncertainty these days. No end in sight for a lingering partisan government shutdown and the National Guard knows it.
"Despite government shutdowns or whatever it may be, our force responded," said Lt. Col. Steven Rowe.
At a change of command ceremony at the Watervliet Arsenal Friday, the men tasked with recruiting new guard soldiers acknowledged the shutdown.
"You know, obviously, there's some challenges at the White House with the Appropriations Bill. But our operation continues to roll," said Lt. Col. Henry Pettit.
Rowe said, "No matter what political climate may exist, you can count on the military and the New York Army National Guard to continue moving forward and do what's necessary to make sure the mission is accomplished."
Active military do remain on the government payroll due to a bill passed before the shutdown. Military missions like this one are continuing uninhibited. And though their government now stands in turmoil, a soldier's resolve is always true.
Pugliese said, "Doesn't matter what the weather is, doesn't matter what the temperature is, we gotta do what we have to do. And these folks are prepared to do that."