NORTH OGDEN (News4Utah) – Hundreds of residents lined the streets of North Ogden to show their appreciation and wave goodbye to Mayor Brent Taylor Friday morning. 

North Ogden Police escorted Mayor Taylor and his family around town before he headed to the airport. The schools he stopped by included Bates Elementary, North Ogden Elementary, Green Acres Elementary, North Ogden Junior High, and Majestic Elementary.

Madilyn Erekson, a 5th grader at Bates Elementary got the chance to meet the mayor for a school project. She calls him a hero.

“I was happy for him, but I was kind of upset because we won’t be able to see him for a year,” said Madilyn.

One week after he was sworn into office for a second term, Mayor Taylor announced on Facebook Live that he would be training the Afghan Commando Battalion. City officials said this is the first known time in Utah history that a mayor deploys for wartime service.

His wife and seven children will have to wait 12 months before he returns.

“I think it proves what a great leader he is that he’s willing to sacrifice and leave his family to fight for his country. I think it’s really honorable,” said Jeremiah Jones, Deputy Fire Chief for North View Fire District.

Mayor Taylor serves as a Major in the Utah Army National Guard. He has previously served two tours in Iraq and on tour in Afghanistan. While on the Afghanistan tour, he was also a member of the North Ogden City Council and took military leave during that time.

Under Utah Code 20A-1-513, a temporary mayor will be appointed by city council during his service.