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Tom Sakievich, GOP candidate for Utah County Commission Seat A

Thirty years of traveling the world and the United States and making “home” in several different places has given, Tom Sakievich, one of the GOP candidates for the Utah County Commission Seat A, the taste for “real Jambalaya”; filled with the Louisiana spicy meat and rice dish with the meat consisting mainly of sausage and the main dish of Mardi Gras in New Orleans where the Sakievich family called home for five years.

“Five years there and we avoided Bourbon Street,” Candidate Sakievich says. “We pretty much stayed on the other side of the river but still came home with many strands of the beads, although they are starting to break as they are handled over the years. And we came home with a lot of the coins that typically don’t go to the kids.”

The coins, or Doubloons, began being thrown made out of wood; but it’s said beginning in the 1960’s beautiful Doubloons were being designed and minted in aluminum and in some cases silver and gold. “Yes, we even came home with some of the coins that are thrown.”

This interviewee of recently spent 30 minutes with C.V writer Clark H. Caras detailing how he began service in the United States Marine Corps as a Private and 30 years later retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and after living in Okinawa, Philippines, Japan and six states saw him and his wife Marji choose to retire to Spanish Fork, Utah and Sakievich entering the race for Utah County Commissioner. – “You list the places you lived as a family, but there’s one more place on the list you don’t mention there because is not so much where you “lived” as you “served”? Maybe you could elaborate on it?”

Candidate Sakievich – “Yes, you’re right,” he said. “I did go to Iraq for about one year and one-half. And yes, I guess you might say it was my job to help get rid of the bad guys so there could be a government.” – “So you raise six children and with your service in six states the kids are scattered across the country and kind of form a map of where the Sakievich family lived. Was Utah a choice of coming home or just central to geographically where the family ranges?”

Candidate Sakievich – “My wife is from Southern California and I’m from Maryland,” he said. “When I enlisted we were attending BYU and we came back in 1993 and began traveling the country as part of my service. We came back to Provo and spent a lot of time driving from American Fork to Payson and determined through choice and prayer that Spanish Fork was the place for us to settle.” – “Many people might say you aren’t really retired and settled until you have a pet, which I’m sure making homes in all the countries and states you did that might have been a bit difficult? You’ve a half-an acre here in Spanish Fork… does it come with any pets?”

With a chuckle Candidate Sakievich said – “We actually do have pets. We have a dog and a cat. We have Penney who is a Golden Retriever that is two years old. And we have Molina the cat. She’s a white cat and that’s about all we know about her. We’ve never had a cat before and found her at the humane society group here in Spanish Fork.” – “So that’s plenty of space for a couple of pets to run and in this area of the world it’s enough for someone to put in a garden and spend a lot of time handing out squash to all of the neighbors.”

Candidate Sakievich – “That was me for a time,” he said. “I had a bunch of garden boxes and it was great! I loved having them to work in and then I started to get involved in this (the campaign) and was getting overwhelmed and took them down. The weeds have taken over now, but I’ve determined I might get back into it after this is over.” – “We are fast approaching the Fourth of July that of course brings with it grilling and family gatherings. When it comes to a hamburger or cheeseburger what kind of guy is Tom Sakievich?”

Candidate Sakievich – “Easy one. Cheeseburger because of the flavor the cheese gives to the meat, but the bun has to be lightly toasted. And the cheese? American cheese but of course!” – “You mentioned you’d just gotten your seventh grandchild with all of them being under the age of four years. And you said you and your wife were just told you’ve got two more grandkids on the way.

You’ve been a parent and now you’re a grandparent. What’s the difference in how you react to kids versus grandchildren?”

Candidate Sakievich – “It’s a difference in the perspective of things I guess,” he said. “You see things differently than you did when the children did them. You can be more patient.” – “Thirty-years of military food? You’ve got to be happy about being retired and being able to eat the meals being prepared at home.”

Candidate Sakievich – “I definitely can’t and don’t complain about what I have to eat here at home and in fact never did,” he said. “But I have to say the military food – it’s really good. It’s quite good in fact. Things have really changed and you have the dining facilities that are run mainly by civilian.” – “This one might be a bit hard because of all the time you’ve had to spend campaigning, but if you are able to be reading anything… what can I find on your nightstand if you are able to be picking up a book?”

Candidate Sakievich – “Next to my open scriptures I have a copy of “Things That Matter,” by (the recently passed) Charles Krauthammer. And I’m really enjoying it because you know, he didn’t miss a whole lot. He is most certainly going to be known for his abilities. You know, he writes very much like his prose you heard when he spoke and was on the news programs.” – “Everyone has some idea that running for political office is a busy endeavor. Do you have any idea or estimate of just how many official meetings and debates and such you’ve had to take part in since jumping into this?”

Candidate Sakievich – “I have been so impressed with the number of invites that have been extended,” he said. “So many invites. At least 10 meet and greets and 30 to 35 backyard meetings and then all of the city councils and the unofficial stops at a couple of the smaller cities. It’s really been an honor to meet so many people in Utah County.” – “It’s got to be a bit hard to have watched everyone else around you taking trips or getting out and enjoying some recreation time?”

Candidate Sakievich – “Oh, we’ve made sure we had some time to ourselves and for our family,” he said. “My wife and I were able to go to Zion National Park in May and spend some time. And my wife, she was just able to visit our new grandson. Then when we have just a short time to slip away we enjoy Hobble Creek, Bridal Veil Falls and we really have enjoyed Cascade Springs, but that’s one we haven’t been to in some time.”

Sakievich is well known for his dedication to the Boy Scouts of America. Along with the camping and other things shared with the boys, Sakievich said that he uses the same principles with the boys as he learned in the military.

By Clark Caras

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