UPDATED 06/22/11 5:59 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — President Obama is expected to order the withdrawal of 10,000 American troops this year and another 20,000 by the end of summer from Afghanistan.
The reductions are larger and faster than recommendations made by U.S. military commanders.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams spoke with one Chicago soldier who’ll be closely tracking the speech.
“I’m definitely interested in how the policy changes and what he has to say,” said Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Peter Muller.
Sgt. Muller of Chicago cannot talk about the president’s policy in Afghanistan, but he does offer his hope for his fellow servicemen and women there.
“I’d love for them to come back,” Muller said. “It’s an extremely stressful situation to be in.”
Muller spent one year in Afghanistan and every assignment was potentially dangerous–despite extraordinary precautions.
“No matter how much armor they put on you, no matter how protected your trucks are, no matter how good your equipment … in the back of your mind everyone knows I might not come back from this day. I might not come back from this trip.”
It’s a peril that U.S. servicemen and women will continue to face in Afghanistan for years, though the president reportedly is making deeper and faster troop cuts than some of his commanders wanted.
“I think that this is a process where the president consulted with all the senior members of his national security team and made a decision. And obviously, the Commander-in-Chief makes this decision,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney.
It’s a decision, Sgt. Muller believes, will be largely welcome by troops now in Afghanistan.
“Everyone who’s over there wants to come back,” Muller said.
Mueller joined the service right after 9-11.
He also served in Iraq, while he earned a bachelor’s at U-I-C.
He’s now working on another degree and holding a job in civilian life.