City Councilmember on Leave from Active Duty

December 20, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Fresno City Councilman Larry Westerlund is back in Fresno this week for the first time since being called up to active duty in the U.S. Navy.Westerlund is stationed in Germany and is supporting the United States' War on Terror. But this weekend, he's on another mission as he prepares for his new role as a father.

The district four city councilmember and Navy Lt. Commander is at home on a 7 day leave from his duty overseas. "We need to whole lot of things to get ready for the baby and a lot of things we've put off, 'I'll do that when I get back', so my honey do list is pretty long," said Westerlund.

Westerlund is in the U.S. Naval Reserves and was deployed to Germany in May, just months after the couple wed. In Germany, he's supporting the war on terror, focusing on Al Qaida cells in western Africa. "What we're trying to do is work with our partner nations in Africa to help them be equipped and trained for combating the terrorists in that area," said Westerlund.

While Westerlund is away, Paul Caprioglio is filling in as the councilmember of district four. The people of that district re-elected Westerlund back in June. Westerlund says he is looking forward to returning to the council when he gets back, perhaps sometime in April. While on leave this week, he'll be meeting with Mayor-elect Ashley Swearengin. "This week I'll have a chance to sit down and have lunch with her and talk about her vision of Fresno and how the council and the mayor can work to help the city go forward in some tough economic times," said Westerlund.

Westerlund says being away from home and his wife has been tough. For now, he's taking in all he can before he leaves Christmas day... including his wife's new look. Dora Westerlund is due to give birth in early February. And Larry Westerlund is hoping he'll be able to take another leave then to spend some time with the newest member of their family.

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