Some South Bend activists spoke out at Monday night’s common council meeting wanting more information about Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
They claim the mayor has repeatedly refused to answer questions about whether he volunteered to go overseas or was given orders.
Buttigieg says it is something he knew could happen when he signed up for the Navy Reserves in 2009.
Starting in January, he will spend about seven months in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
But now, some people want the common council to find out more about that assignment. They are also asking them to write a letter to the Department of Defense asking Buttigieg be exempt.
"All you have to do is look at the news reports,” said community activist Mario Sims. “You have the shootings, issues with unemployment; we have the need to have someone here who can address job growth bringing business to South Bend. This was his commitment as the executive. If he knew at some point that his responsibility to serve his country were going to interfere, then he shouldn't have run for mayor."
Buttigieg’s spokeswoman, Kara Kelly, issued a statement saying:
“If the Navy considered the mayor to be exempt, he would not have been ordered to Afghanistan. As a military officer, he has made a commitment to our country, and his orders require him to keep that promise by going to Afghanistan next year. He recognizes that, for these purposes, he is just a sailor and it is his turn to go.”