A salute to local soldiers

Nicholas said they were notified of their deployment a year in advance, which is why he called it a "two-year experience." He added that it was very helpful having his brother around as it made coping with being over there easier.

The brothers, who also have an older brother serving overseas, said their deployment was hard on their mother.

"We have a strong mother," said Anthony.

"We felt really bad doing this to her," said Nicholas, "but we felt we had to serve."

The brother said they have two years left with the New York Army National Guard Military Police Company. Anthony is attending Hudson Valley Community College in dental hygiene and Nicholas is attending the same school to be a paramedic.

The transition home for them was rough because it took them out of their routine, but they said they were able to finally settle in.

"You miss the routine, you miss the steady income, you miss the job security and you miss the camaraderie," said Anthony. "For the first month or so you don't feel like you're home for good, you always feel like, 'OK, when do I have to put this uniform back on.' After a couple of months you're like, 'OK, this is real. I'm finally home for good.' It takes awhile to settle in after living that lifestyle for a year straight."

Town of Colonie Deputy Supervisor Nancy Hernandez attended the ceremony to pay her respects to the men and women who served in Iraq. She said she was happy to see all of the soldiers come back safely.

"To see the pride in what they do and the fact that they took on this calling and went straight ahead and take on this task to assist Iraqi police develop their skills, certainly for our protection as well, but to build a relationship that this country is trying to mend and develop with that country as times are very difficult " it just gives me more of a patriotic feel," she said. "I'm glad I'm here to witness this."

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