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New York Army National Guard Lt. Miguel Caicedo, (Credit: Charles Eckert)

New York Army National Guard Lt. Miguel Caicedo, left, and Specialist Errol Ximines gather information from victims of superstorm Sandy on Gerritsen Avenue in Gerritsen Beach. (Jan. 17, 2013)

Long Islanders in National Guard help local Sandy victims

The war effort that brought U.S. troops to Afghanistan is winding down and National Guard soldiers are returning to the Guard's traditional mission: responding to major emergencies and natural disasters at home.

Nearly three months after Sandy hit in late October, more than 250 National Guard troops remain on Sandy duty, according to Guard officials in Albany. They're helping local officials across the region locate damaged homes and people in need.

Newsday followed New York Army National Guard Captain Jason Brandle, of Long Beach, Specialist Errol Ximines, of Coram, and Lieutenant Miguel Caicedo, of Queens, as they surveyed damage in Gerritsen Beach.

Members of the New York State National Guard
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

Members of the New York State National Guard who are part of Joint Task Force Sandy prepare to depart their temporary base at Floyd Bennet Field for a mission in Gerritsen Beach, an area damaged during superstorm Sandy. (Jan. 17, 2013)

New York Army National Guard Capt. Jason Brandle,
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

New York Army National Guard Capt. Jason Brandle, left, and Lt. Miguel Caicedo, right, review OEM maps during an information-gathering mission in Gerritsen Beach, an area affected by superstorm Sandy. (Jan. 17, 2013)

New York Army National Guard Lt. Miguel Caicedo,
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

New York Army National Guard Lt. Miguel Caicedo, left, and Specialist Errol Ximines review OEM maps during an information gathering mission in Gerritsen Beach, an area affected by superstorm Sandy. (Jan. 17, 2013)

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New York Army National Guard Specialist Santiago Redwood,
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

New York Army National Guard Specialist Santiago Redwood, left, and Lt. Miguel Caicedo, right, review OEM maps during an information gathering mission in Gerritsen Beach, an area affected by superstorm Sandy. (Jan. 17, 2013)

New York Army National Guard Specialist Santiago Redwood,
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

New York Army National Guard Specialist Santiago Redwood, left, and Specialist Errol Ximines gather information from victims of superstorm Sandy on Plumb 1st Street in Gerritsen Beach. (Jan. 17, 2013)

New York Army National Guard Lt. Miguel Caicedo,
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

New York Army National Guard Lt. Miguel Caicedo, left, and Specialist Errol Ximines gather information from victims of superstorm Sandy on Gerritsen Avenue in Gerritsen Beach. (Jan. 17, 2013)

New York Army National Guard Specialist Errol Ximines
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

New York Army National Guard Specialist Errol Ximines gathers information from Kenny Hgo, a resident of Stuart Street in Gerritsen Beach who was affected by superstorm Sandy. Spc Ximines is a resident of Coram and served in Iraq. (Jan. 17, 2013)

New York Army National Guard Specialist Errol Ximines,
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

New York Army National Guard Specialist Errol Ximines, left, and Lieutenant Miguel Caicedo, right, gather information from superstorm Sandy affected residents on Gerritsen Avenue in Gerritsen Beach. (Jan. 17, 2013)

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New York Army National Guard Specialist Errol Ximines
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

New York Army National Guard Specialist Errol Ximines gathers information from superstorm Sandy affected residents on Avenue W in Gerritsen Beach. (Jan. 17, 2013)

Members of the New York Army National Guard
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

Members of the New York Army National Guard gather tablets used by fellow guardsmen to enter information from superstorm Sandy affected residents of Gerritsen Beach. (Jan. 17, 2013)

A member of the New York Army National
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

A member of the New York Army National Guard gathers tablets used by fellow guardsmen to enter information from superstorm Sandy affected residents of Gerritsen Beach. (Jan. 17, 2013)

New York Army National Guard Lt. Miguel Caicedo,
(Credit: Charles Eckert)

New York Army National Guard Lt. Miguel Caicedo, left, and Capt. Jason Brandle review OEM maps during an information gathering mission in Gerritsen Beach, an area affected by superstorm Sandy. (Jan. 17, 2013)

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