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

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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.