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D.C. National Guard Soldiers Deploy To Afghanistan

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Three sets of cousins are part of the group of D.C. National Guard soldiers deploying to Afghanistan this week. 
U.S. Army Photo by 1st Lt. Miranda Summers Lowe
Three sets of cousins are part of the group of D.C. National Guard soldiers deploying to Afghanistan this week. 

More than 80 members of the D.C. National Guard are being deployed to Afghanistan today and their relatives and city bid the servicemen and women farewell during a ceremony Thursday. 

The city has come to count on the National Guard during times of crisis, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) told those gathered.

"You were there for us when there were those terrible snows. You are there when there are floods," Norton said. "And, in an occasional earthquake, it is the D.C. National Guard to whom we always turn."

But the country has come to depend on the Guard members even more, she added. "Do not think we do not know what you've been through," she said. "How often we have met since 9/11 Since that time 22 D.C. National Guard units have been deployed."

Now, a new wave of soldiers is heading to Afghanistan. Solomon Acevero said he's proud to be one of them. 

"I'm excited. Mentally ready. Physically fit. Yeah, I m proud of that," he said. And his cousin, Joshua Acevero, is going with him. 

"Having my cousin next to me, I feel confident that he has my back," Joshua Acevero said.

But Solomon's uncle, Noel, said it's difficult to watch his two relatives leave the safety of home. "For a parent, this is a very hard pill to swallow," he said. "Because after 20 years working and coming home to them, all it takes is one shot."

He said he's telling them to stay alert. "Pray that nothing happens," he said. And look out for each other. 

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