Soldiers bound for Middle East depart from Stewart Airport

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NEWBURGH -

Soldiers gathered at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh Saturday before heading overseas to Afghanistan for a yearlong deployment.

The hanger at the airport was full of support for the 101st Signal Battalion of the New York Army National Guard.

The 300 troops left Stewart Air National Guard Base for Fort Hood, Texas, and then to the Middle East. 

Staff Sgt. Cynthia Alberto is leaving behind a 10-year-old daughter. 

"I'm gonna miss waking up to her and taking her to school," says Alberto. She says she is going to rely on the support of her close friends that have helped raise her daughter through her previous deployments. 

"She's not alone at all," said Amanda Castanda, Alberto's best friend. "I just want her to know that."

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