Fighting 69th members prepare for duty in Afghanistan

There were some tearful goodbyes Tuesday as members of the historic Fighting 69th headed to Fort Bragg, N.C. to prepare for duty in Afghanistan. Sgt. Steven Gentile, of Deer Park, is one of the 130 members

News 12 Staff

Mar 25, 2008, 11:20 PM

Updated 5,958 days ago

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There were some tearful goodbyes Tuesday as members of the historic Fighting 69th headed to Fort Bragg, N.C. to prepare for duty in Afghanistan.
Sgt. Steven Gentile, of Deer Park, is one of the 130 members who will soon be off to Afghanistan. The group will be providing security for combat forces.
?It is the fear of the unknown but other than that I feel confident with the training and with my buddies on the left and right of me knowing how they are gonna help me out,? Gentile says.
So far, 419 Americans have died fighting in Afghanistan, including some Long Islanders. Rep. Steve Israel and other politicians don?t want people to forget that fact as fighting in Iraq takes most of the spotlight.
?Afghanistan has in many respects become the forgotten war. That's why I think it's so vitally important that Long Islanders rally around our service members,? Israel says.
Twenty family members of Long Island soldiers flew down to Fort Bragg for the official send-off ceremony.
For an extended interview with Sgt. Gentile, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.


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