DIXON, Illinois - Mayor Liandro Arellano Jr. (Mayor Li) leads with passion.
"Paying it back, to me, is just part of the culture," He said during an interview on June 21.
He owns four local business and is nearly three months into his second term as Mayor of Dixon.
In August, he will take on an additional role.
"You always know it's a possibility," said Arellano. "As a solider, you're ready for that call."
He is being deployed with the Army to the Middle East.
"I joined in 2003. I did my first combat tour in 2005 and did my second one in 2009 and 2010," he said.
His deployment later this year will be the first time he is sent overseas while serving as mayor.
He plans to maintain his City duties.
Using phone conferences and emails, he will be ably to continue building agendas, making policies and handling constituent concerns.
Dixon's city manager handles most of the day-to-day operations, so those duties should not be interrupted in the absence of the Mayor.
There is one job though, that the mayor is nervous about leaving behind.
"I have good teams at my businesses, we have a great team at the city, the city is doing really well, communication equipment while being deployed has never been better. But, nothing replaces a father being there for his kids," said the mayor when asked about the biggest challenge he faces before he deploys.
The father of four knows the risks associated with going overseas very well.
"I certainly came back with touches of P-T-S-D, touches of self doubt," he said.
But, the Mayor says he knows the rewards as well.
"Sometimes our military, our nation, needs people like me to take care of the miliatary and the nations needs abroad," said Arellano.
Arellano will lead a team of 10 troops, nine of them who are being deployed for the very first time.
He is serving out of the 317th Engineer Company based in Homewood, Illinois.
He says he plans to appoint a member of the city council to serve as the presiding officer and deputy mayor during his deployment.