Valley Reaction to Obama's Troop Withdrawal Plan

February 27, 2009 10:39:07 PM PST
While plans were unveiled to bring troops home, one local soldier has returned to the Valley safe and sound.Friday's reunion was full of joy for National Guard Specialist Ramon Garza. While he didn't have much to say about the president's plan to withdraw troops he's thankful he and his entire unit made it home safely.

The Garza family waited anxiously for their first glimpse of Specialist Ramon Garza. With a triumphant gesture he's back in the arms of his family after a year in Iraq.

Daniel Garza said, "I'm just very, very proud of my son."

Garza served as a truck driver transporting everything from soccer balls to medical supplies across the desert where he says anything could happen at a moment's notice.

"Everyday you hope nothing happens and thank God the unit I went with out of Virginia. We all came back 100 percent," said Ramon.

There are currently 142 thousand troops serving in Iraq. President Obama announced Friday he wants to bring them home for good. He said, "Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end."

Local Veteran Charlie Waters says while a gradual withdrawal will help, what's needed are more changes and diplomacy from Iraqis. He said, "I have been there the clerks in that county still go after us as the great satin and I think it's going to take a lot longer than we ever dreamed."

For those soldiers still bearing the weight of the fighting in Iraq, Garza has this message. He said, "Don't worry time goes by fast and everybody has their days, trust me I've had them. You sit there and you pray God brings you through everything and he does."

Garza will train once a month with the National Guard and in the next 24 months it is possible he could be re-deployed to Iraq.

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