94-Year-Old World War II WAVE Honored on Birthday for Military Service

Category: News and Community

​South Euclid resident Arlene Perry received a very special honor on her 94th birthday. Mrs. Perry, who served with the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) during World War II, was honored for her service as 20 members of her extended family gathered to celebrate her.

Arlene’s son, Dennis, himself a U.S. Army veteran, was also honored. Our volunteer Ron DeMeza, another U.S. Army veteran, individually saluted them, thanked them for their service and presented them with certificates and a special commemorative veterans’ pin. Mrs. Perry was also presented with a red, white and blue afghan hand-crocheted by a hospice volunteer.

Mrs. Perry served during World War II with the WAVES through the women's branch of the United States Naval Reserve. She is proud of her family’s long and distinguished history of U.S military service.  She not only donated her historic WAVE uniform to a military museum in Chicago, but an entire wall of her home serves as a tribute to family members who have served their country.
Arlene’s grandson, Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew “Ace” W. Nowacki, lost his life in 2005 while protecting a convoy during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The family established The Andy Nowacki Foundation is his memory to provide scholarships to those seeking to serve the community through public safety or nursing fields.  

In addition to the scholarships, the Foundation also honors “Heroes for Andy,” individuals “who act above and beyond the call of duty, and in so doing, give definition to patriotism and elevate all of us.”

Ironically, DeMeza was selected as a 2019 “Heroes for Andy” Award winner earlier this year. But he didn’t realize the connection between the Foundation and Mrs. Perry’s family until they told him about it at today’s ceremony! A two-year Hospice of the Western Reserve volunteer, DeMeza has dedicated his service to conducting Veterans Recognition Ceremonies to honor fellow veterans.

We’re grateful to Mrs. Perry, her family and The Andy Nowacki Foundation for sharing their story with us!

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