MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
When Montgomery County sheriff's deputy Jarrod Allen heard about the President's plans Monday morning, the deputy and Iraqi war veteran thought.. it's time.
"You can't fight forever," said Allen.
Deputy Allen spent some time in Iraq as a combat engineer with the Alabama Army National Guard. Much like his job now as a motorcycle cop, the Iraqi tour was dangerous, unpredictable and Allen often had to face the danger head on.
"I take this job very seriously," he said.
President Obama told the Disabled American Veterans group that he will end combat operations August 31. The President said 'hundreds' of bases are being turned over to the Iraqis and soldiers are moving out 'millions of pieces of military equipment.'
Mr. Obama also added that a 'transitional force' of around 50,000 will stay behind with all the troops coming home by the end of 2011.
As to whether going to war was the right move or not, Allen believes it's probably too early to say. After all a recent car bomb in Iraq killed at least 20 people and 4 more American soldiers were killed in combat.
"I think overall we did a good job with the situation. It's time to come home," said Allen.
As you can imagine Allen is mighty glad to be back home. He learned a lot during his one-year stay in Iraq. The primary lesson?
"Life is fragile. Not that it wasn't before but you develop a better appreciation for life, especially since I have a little girl now,' Allen said.
By the time the end of August rolls around more than 90,000 soldiers will have been brought home, and no one more than Jarrod Allen knows just what that feels like.