SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – For this week’s Heroes Among Us, we meet Army veteran Private First Class Sal Safarty, a WWII Veteran with roots from Chicago and a toughness he learned from growing up in the Bronx.
At 18, Safarty left his college studies to enlist in the US Army.
He struggled with authority during WWII but his priority was to serve his country.
“I was not used to taking orders,” Safarty said with a laugh. “Tell me this..haha, no I don’t do that. Taking orders was very difficult for me so I ended up in the 5th infantry division and I saw quite a bit of combat.”
He served under General Patton’s 3rd Army in the 5th Infantry Division.
Safatry served in France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Czechoslovakia, seeing lots of action and heavy losses.
“The kid I became friendly with the day before the very first day in combat, he got hit and till this day I think about if I was on his side, I’d be dead and he’d be alive,” Safarty said. “I had to call his family up and tell them that he didn’t suffer; that was a difficult phone call.”
Still, with no regrets Safarty proudly served his country until 1946.
He was recently honored at a Florida Panthers game, with his children and grandchildren by his side and a big smile on his face.
“I wanted to be in the Army and that’s where I was supposed to be,” he said. “My country needed me, where else would I be?
“I’m not a hero, I just did what I had to do.”
Safarty relocated to South Florida in 1971 and has lived here ever since.
On behalf of CBS4 and the Florida Panthers, we would like to thank you for your service, Private First Class Safarty.