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L.I. Army National Guard Members Wish Families Goodbye Before Deployment To Afghanistan

Members of a military police brigade wish loved ones goodbye before being deployed to Afghanistan. (credit: CBS 2)

Members of a military police brigade wish loved ones goodbye before being deployed to Afghanistan. (credit: CBS 2)

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GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — As the war in Afghanistan grows more deadly for American troops, another contingent is being deployed from Long Island.

Army National Guard members hugged their families in Garden City on Thursday, hoping to hide their concern as they are set to begin the first leg of a deployment to Afghanistan.

“You always worried — that’s what keeps us on our toes. Don’t put your guard down,” military police Capt. Norberto Carraquillo told CBS 2’s John Slattery.

One hundred members of a military police brigade wished loved ones goodbye at a time when the death toll for Americans in the Afghan conflict is climbing.

Lauren Munden’s husband is a staff sergeant. She said she felt “a little bit of worry.”

The deployment comes amid a wave of lethal attacks by Afghan soldiers and police on American troops.

One Long Island couple, Gregory and Marina Buckley, on Saturday buried their Marine Corps son Gregory.

The recent, so-called insider attacks on international troops from members of Afghan security forces is cause for particular concern.

“I think it’s terrible — another worry factor,” said Sandra Carraquillo, the wife of a serviceman from Long Island.

“It’s a terrible thing, but I have confidence in our soldiers,” Melissa Bellini added.

Warrant Officer Neal Vaught said the danger doesn’t concern him, but it does concern his wife of three months.

“It sure does. I know this is my husband’s job, it’s his mission,” Carol Vaught said.

Security will be handed over to the Afghans by the end of 2014. But for local families, that’s a worrisome and long wait.

Canada and the Netherlands have both brought their troops home. France and New Zealand will be next.

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