South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is returning home from Afghanistan after a six month deployment. Buttigieg has served as a lieutenant in the US Navy Reserves. Deputy Mayor Mark Neal took over as the city’s executive in February.
“Mayor Buttigieg has left Afghanistan and is beginning the demobilization process,” city spokesperson Kara Kelly told the South Bend Voice. “We still do not know the exact date that Mayor Buttigieg will return, but expect that he’ll be back in office at the beginning of October. Excitement is building as we look forward to having him home.”
The mayor posted three photographs and a quote on his Facebook page early this morning, teasing his return. They show American troops on a military passenger jet in what presumably is the flight that the mayor is taking home. They appear to be taken from a cellphone camera.
“You are young men, you must be living… go now, you are forgiven,” the quote reads.
Buttigieg delivered an Independence Day message from Afghanistan on July 4. It was shown during a South Bend Silver Hawks game at Four Winds Field in downtown South Bend.
“This is Lieutenant Pete Buttigieg, coming to you from Afghanistan,” he said. “I wish I could be there with you to celebrate July 4th. We always do a great job celebrating Independence Day in South Bend, and I know this year is going to be no exception.”
“I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank South Bend and everybody there being so supportive, not just of me, but of everybody serving around the world right now. It makes a huge difference to everyone serving abroad to know that we have folks back at home thinking of us and supporting us.”