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Is Catholic War Veterans 'best-kept secret' in Norwalk?

Cary Ashby • Feb 22, 2018 at 4:00 AM

The way Bill White sees it, Catholic War Veterans is the best kept secret in Norwalk.

“It’s the United States’ best-kept secret as well,” said White, the first vice-commander of Father John Duffy Post 1968.

Catholic War Veterans is an accredited national organization which has been in existence since 1935. The state office is in Columbus at 35 E. Chestnut St., Suite 510.

The Norwalk post started in 2013.

“We are trying to get new members,” said post commander Jeff Perrin. “People don’t know we are here. We are just as important as the VFW and the American Legion.”

The local post of Catholic War Veterans meets the first Monday of every month at the VFW Post 2743, 140 Milan Ave. Membership is available for any Catholic who is a veteran or active service member.

“We are the only post between Cleveland and Toledo. There probably are no more than 30 (posts in Ohio),” said Perrin, who lives in Bellevue.

Perrin does more than serve as the Norwalk post commander.

“I am the only accredited service officer in Ohio for the Catholic War Veterans,” he said. “I handle claims and pension work for anyone who has a power of attorney with the Catholic War Veterans.”

While organizations such as the VFW work from the federal building in Cleveland, Perrin works from his Bellevue home.

“Then I send everything into Cleveland,” he said.

White echoed a sentiment by Perrin that the Norwalk post is in the midst of a “strong membership drive.”

The mission of Catholic War Veterans is to assist all Catholic vets “in any way, shape or form,” White said.

The Norwalk man has a passion for serving his fellow veterans.

“I love helping people,” White said. “To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, ask your veteran what he (or she) has done for you and what you have done for your veterans. The veterans don’t care how much you know until you show how much you care.”

White, who was born and raised in Norwalk, served two years of active duty with the U.S. Navy and another four in the Navy Reserves. 

“From there I went into the National Guard Reserves; I spent 14 years in there,” said White, who was a full-time Monroeville police officer for 11 years.

“My heart and soul is with the military,” he added. “I felt obligated to get into the military to defend my country – our country — against any adversaries, foreign and domestic.”

The Norwalk post of Catholic War Veterans is hosting a spring-time breakfast April 29 at the Bellevue VFW, 6104 E. U.S. 20.

The event is from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Menu items include: French toast sticks, sausage, bacon or hash browns, eggs, coffee, milk and orange juice. The cost is $6 for adults and $4 for senior citizen and children younger than 10 years old.

For more information about Catholic War Veterans, call Jeff Perrin at 419-357-4691 or Bill White at 419-577-0467.

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