Soldier, family reacts to Obama's plan for withdrawal

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- Just a little more than a month after taking office, President Barack Obama set a major military deadline.

"Let me say this as plainly as I can," Obama explained to a group of marines in North Carolina Friday.  "By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end."

The President called for withdrawal of troops after years of war.

"I intend to remove all us troops from Iraq by the end of 2011," he said.

Back in Alabama,  Sergeant First Class Andy Smith prepares for his second tour of duty overseas.

In 2003, he was one of thousands of troops in Iraq.  Now, he's headed to Afghanistan as President Obama orders reinforcements to the region.

"I feel confident that our leaders--military and political leaders--will make the best decision for what's best for our country," Smith said.

Obama's decision would cut troop levels from 142,000 now to between 35,000 and 50,000 by August of next year.

Smith's wife, Tracie, says she wants military leaders to be certain it's the right move.

"It's good that he's going to drive down troop levels in Iraq, but I also want us to finish the job that we've already started in Iraq.  I don't want to leave to quickly and have to go back," she said.

Wherever the military goes, the Smiths say they'll be ready.

"[My husband] has a job.  This is his job.  This is what he's signed up to do, and he's fulfilling a commitment he made to going," Tracie Smith explained.