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Petrilla Departs For Afghanistan: 'Give 'em Heck'

Rancho Santa Margarita city councilman Jesse Petrilla, as part of his duties with the California National Guard, departs for Afghanistan today.

Jesse Petrilla, the youngest city councilman in Rancho Santa Margarita history and a member of the California Army National Guard, was set to depart today for deployment in Afghanistan.

Petrilla, 28, elected to office in the 2010 general election, missed nearly four months of council service last year while in Fort Knox, KY, as part of Armor Basic Officer Course training, where the second lieutenant learned to be .

His deployment is for 400 days, though he indicated it could be less, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Petrilla attended a budget study session on Wednesday. At his , on April 11, other council members wished him luck. 

Jerry Holloway, who acknowledged that the two hadn't always seen eye to eye, told Petrilla from his seat across the council chambers, "Give 'em heck."

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"I do very  much look forward to returning and getting back to work on this council," Petrilla said.

When he returns, the council could look very different. Three positions are up for election, seats currently held by longstanding members Jerry Holloway, Mayor Tony Beall, and Carol Gamble who was part of the city's first council but was appointed last year to take the vacated seat of Gary Thompson.

On Tuesday, Petrilla attended the announcement that Kenney Hrabik will run for city council. Hrabik was to replace Thompson.

On Thursday, a bit before noon, Petrilla left a Facebook post: "Bags are all packed!"

Mike Proctor April 20, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Safe return, keep your head down, and don't be a hero. And my sincere thanks to Jessie and his family.
Lawrence (Larry) McCook April 20, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Yes, it is everyone;s wish for Jesse to return safely from his deployment. Thanks Jesse for serving our country!
LeAna Bui April 20, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Safe return Mr. Petrilla! Our thoughts and prayers will be with you.
Chris McLaughlin April 20, 2012 at 06:00 PM
"Freedom has a special flavor for those who defend it, that the protected will never know." Good Luck, Sir! Stay safe, accomplish your missions, make us proud and come home to savor the Freedom that much more!! ;)
Sharon Thompson April 20, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Prayers go with you to Afghanistan that God will keep you in the palm of His hand. You are a true Patriot as is every person who serves in our military. Keep us updated if you have the opportunity. See you in about a year. RSM loves you!
Vick April 21, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Mr. McCook, are you going to disclose to voters whether or not you have engaged in or been accused of domestic violence?
Nancy Thompson April 21, 2012 at 05:20 PM
It simply baffles me as to the gaul, unawareness, stupidy, call it what you want , of some people who can take a simple farewell message to a soldier and turn it into this!
Chris McLaughlin April 21, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Hi Nancy, Some people are all politics all the time. Thanks for busting Vick!
Mike Proctor April 21, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Nancy, I agree 100%, but you have to ignore the trolls.
Gina April 22, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Best of luck Jessie......come home safe.....
Lawrence (Larry) McCook April 22, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Vick, A lot of people have known me personally for many many years. If you would like to know me personally, please give me a call and I will meet with you. (949)207-3900
Kathyh April 23, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Jessie, Thank you sir for serving our country. Our prayers are with you and your family.

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