South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg will soon deploy to Afghanistan for seven months. It's part of his duties as a member of the navy reserves.
Friday on 16 Morning News, the mayor joined us in studio for a one-on-one interview with Tricia Sloma about the big news.
“This is part of an oath I took just like I took an oath to the city of South Bend,” the mayor said. “I took one to the country as well and I became an officer in the military and when you do that you know something like this might happen.”
Mayor Buttigieg will serve as an intelligence officer beginning in February and many people living in South Bend are saluting him for his service.
“It’s my turn now and now I have orders, and when you have orders, you go. In a way it’s part of the same public service as being mayor of South Bend. People join the military and go to places like Afghanistan in order to protect places like South Bend and it’s going to be difficult to be away but it’s also something that I’ve trained for, it’s something that in a way I look forward to doing but I’m going to look forward even more to getting home. I know obviously I’m higher profile and I have a lot of responsibilities here but if it wasn’t me, it would be somebody else who’s very important to their family, to their community, maybe in a different way but I’m not any different in that regard, I’m not special.”
Controller Mark Neal will run the city in his new role as deputy mayor while Buttigieg is gone; but the mayor will still keep up with city issues via e-mail and video conferencing. He will weigh in on all big decisions.