After proclaiming this week "Veterans' Week," Mayor Brian Marl honored U.S. Navy veteran George Perrault with a proclamation at Monday's City Council meeting.
Fellow veterans in attendance saluted the dedicated retired serviceman and others stood and applauded as Perrault walked to the front of the City Council chambers to be honored by the mayor.
"George has done a great deal for this community and a great deal for our armed forces, and one proclamation could not do that justice," Marl said before reading the proclamation in its entirety.
Perrault, a resident of Saline since the 1970s, served in the Navy for more than 20 years. He represented the Navy in the Color Guard overseeing the casket of John F. Kennedy in the White House Rotunda in 1963.
Since retiring, Perrault has remained steadfast in his service to the country. He visits local businesses to remind them of flag etiquette when their flags are damaged or worn. He was one of the leaders in a campaign for a new flagpole at Oakwood Cemetery. He helps organize events like the Memorial Day activities. He's helped coordinate the VFW packing parties, which provide overseas troops with much needed goods and personal items.
“He is the most dedicated veteran I've ever known in my life,” said Bob Kwiecinski, a US Air Force veteran who fought in the Korean War.
Kwiecinski said fellow veterans appreciate Perrault's vigilance about the way flags are flown.
“If they aren't flown right, or if they're ripped, he'll go into a business and talk to the manager or owner,” Kwiecinski said. “We appreciate that. We love George. He is all heart and dedication.”
Tim Driscoll, Commander of Saline's American Legion Post, agreed.
“George's commitment to the country has been stellar. He came up through the ranks in the service, and exceeded what they expected from him every place he went. When he was a Chief he won award after award,” Driscoll said.
Driscoll said the Perrault is integral in a VFW effort that shops for goods and sends packages to overseas service men and women.
“He does absolutely everything. He loads up the packages, he goes shopping. Anything that's needed, George will do without hesitation,” Driscoll said. “Even more, he's able to get other people to do it with him. He's like a magnet for all things good for veterans.”
Perrault is driven by love for the Americans who serve the country, Driscoll said.
“He understands our veterans and he loves our men and women in the service. He understands what it is to be away from family, to be in war, and to lose buddies and friends,” Driscoll said.
The recognition came as a shock to Perrault, who thought he was attending the meeting for the sole purposes of the proclamation of Veterans' Week.
Perrault said his reasons for serving are simple.
“I've been with the service for 39 years. It's in my blood,” he said.
Perrault lives in Saline with his wife, Lois. They raised two children. Along with his granddaughter Taylor Puckett, a junior at Saline High School, Perrault will visit Dallas to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy.