WAYLAND — It was a bittersweet ceremony as the Wayland American Legion paid tribute to one of its own.
Edward “Butch” Perkowski passed away early this year, and was a huge part of the Legion family. He left behind his wife Judy, and their four children Peggy, Peter, Paul, and Edward Jr.
Butch was the pillar of Boy State, and it is something he would talk about every year at the Wayland Veterans Appreciation Dinner. The honor at Nov. 10 dinner went to SAL Commander Larry Duel.
Duel talked about the importance of Boy State and what Butch meant to the Legion family.
“Today we honor the men and women who made sacrifices over our country,” he said. “Butch Perkowski is no longer with us. He was one of my very best friends. He did tremendous work for Boy State. When the time came for me to take over for Butch he handed me a packet, and I told him to stick around and help me with it.”
Duel explained that each Legion post picks a young man to represent them in Boy State. All of the paperwork needs to be filled out, and the parents need to be talked to.
“It is tough when you don’t know them or the roads that well. Butch knew them all. Butch would go to every house, and up roads I never heard of to knock on the doors,” he said. “He would sit at the table and talk to the parents.”
Duel is honored to carry on Butch’s legacy and keep Boy State alive. He had two young men talk about their time there.
Judy Perkowski is still in charge of Girl State, and had a young lady talk about her time there.
In order to honor the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day there were several old WWI movies playing on the screen. The Soldier’s Journey, The Hello Girls, and Sgt. Stubby played for the dinner.
Larry Duel got the Certificate of Excellence Award, the Perkowski Family got a special flag award in honor of Butch, Bob and Anne Snyder got the Red, White, and Blue award, Valley Fuel got the Americanism award, and John Sylor got the Legionnaire award.
The next event is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on Dec. 9 from 1 to 5 p.m. The Southern Tier All Star Jazz Band and The American Bombshells will be here this year. Free for all veterans, and $7 for non-military guests. It includes appetizers, lunch, and desert as you listen to the hits from the 30s,40s, and 50s.