I was 15 when John Kennedy said, “ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country.” I was 18 when he died. I knew nothing about politics in HS and College except that a Catholic had been elected President. His words were what I thought it meant to be a good citizen and I very much wanted to serve my country. Vietnam changed all that.
Through the ROTC program at Canisius College, I signed up for the infantry and after graduating and attending Infantry Officer training at Fort Benning, GA, I was assigned to a then top-secret intelligence course at Fort Devens, MA, followed by a special TS+C course at Fort Holabird, MD. My job was to become the commander of a first line of defense field operation detecting and identifying nuclear detonations anywhere in the world but, for my command, specifically in Russia and China. This, together with the death of a number of my fellow officers and friends in Vietnam and the popular firestorm in the USA denigrating them and all of us who were serving, was my introduction to real politics.
I grew up (age 15 to 25) in the 1960’s. By the time I left active service in 1970 I had absolutely no interest in anything to do with government or service or even country. I was in bad shape for about six months until I decided to learn about this new thing called a computer and I trained to program them at a school in Syracuse, NY. I have done okay since then, but the purpose of this introduction is to try to explain to you and myself why I decided to run for elected office at the age of 69, how I found out that I was a conservative and why I haven’t given up trying to win an election. In a nutshell, I believed what John Kennedy said and I still do.
As a veteran, I want to honor and encourage every soldier who has or will serve. As a businessman and conservative, I want to provide the basis and incentive for every citizen to grow both personally and economically. As a considerate Christian, I want to be involved in caring for anyone in need of food or shelter.
All of these goals can be realized as your next Supervisor for Saratoga Springs.
- John Safford