President Bush says our troops will stay in Iraq until the country can stand alone. A local former police officer is working to bring that day a little closer.
Waylon Weber says he'll miss his kids' soccer games, but that's just one thing in a long list. He leaves tomorrow to spend a year training Iraqi police officers in Afghanistan.
"Once we train enough of them to take over and control their nation, then we can start bringing back, well we can come back and then start bringing back the troops," Weber says.
He spent six years in the Marines. He didn't want to re-enlist and separate from his family for a long period. But he wasn't ready to stop serving.
He says, "If I can go over there for one year and give it 110 % and know that I made a difference or contributed to the cause, that's all that matters to me."
Weber had to resign from the South Beloit police to take this trip. He says that was like leaving another family, but nothing like saying goodbye to his kids.
His son Aaron say, "I was like what am I gonna do without my dad he's gonna miss a whole year of my life."
His daughter Ashley: "I was a little depressed that he was going to be gone for a whole year but if it's something he wanted to do, it made him happy and so it made me happy too."
They're all worried about Weber's safety but he feels prepared and his girlfriend is focusing on pride rather than fear.
"It takes a lot of courage to go over there, a lot of people say he doesn't have to go, he's going over there by choice, so I respect him for that."
The family will stay in touch by internet and weber will be able to come back to visit for two weeks.
Weber says the training takes place in Afghanistan because it's too dangerous to train in Iraq.