Local Military Family Discusses the President's Speech

Knoxville (WVLT) - For many families with loved ones serving overseas, it's the timeline they want to hear the most.

Kelli Parker sat down with Cathy Wilkerson, who's 22 year old son Matt just arrived on the front lines of Iraq two weeks ago. Hearing the president's address, this mother still wants more answers for her son.

Outside, his name hangs from the trees that frame his home, the stars and stripes showing this family's American pride and the yellow ribbon which symbolizes everything the mother inside this home wants most. Cathy Wilkerson watches as the president outlines bringing troops home.

"30,000, that's great but there's still 130,000 over there," Wilkerson said. "130,000 troops on the ground last year 130,000 on the ground next year," Wilkerson said.

Cathy's just two weeks into her son's deployment. Specialist Matt Isbell is following in his father's foot steps, but this mother of four worries Matt's now walking the same path with soldiers who are growing tired.

"My biggest concern, our troops are wearing thin. Some have served 2 or 3 tours of duty that effects their family here at home," Wilkerson said. "They have fought since the beginning of time. They have, and we can't be the world's police."

Cathy says she agrees with President Bush on one thing. We can't pull all of the troops at once, but she says she's still waiting for a plan in Iraq that's more concrete.

"I would like to hear him say a time frame a cut off date we've begged for that for along time we've yet to receive one," Wilkerson said.

For now, her time line is one spanning 15 months, the length she will spend waiting on young Matt to return home.

"Prayer is the only thing that gets you through it, prayer. Know that there's a prayer and pray he will come home and there's a higher power that's taking care of them," Wilkerson said.

Cathy tells us this is Matt's first deployment to Iraq, and so far she hasn't been able to talk to him. She asks that you remember Matt and all of our soldiers in your prayers.

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