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Meritorious Marine Program

Established by Charles Sooter

Each month, a 1st CEB Marine is selected by the Battalion to be honored by the City of Cerritos and receive a proclamation from the mayor or city council member. The Marine and his guest receive a complimentary overnight stay at the Cerritos Sheraton Hotel, as well as gift cards provided by local restaurants. They also receive tickets to the Cerritos Performing Arts Center (CCPA) or to an Angels baseball game. Their host takes them on a mini-tour of the Cerritos Civic Center, including the Library, Sculpture Garden and occasionally the Sheriff's Station. 

Meritorious Marine for January 2023

Navy Corpsman HM2 Nicolas F. Vasta 

Supervising Corpsman of the 1st CEB Medical Aid Station


CJ Villaluna, Janet Beach, Elizabeth Kelley, Diane Searer (President of 1st CEB Adoption Committee), Sherman Kappe, Cerritos Mayor Chuong Vo, HM2 Nicolas Vasta, wife Sierra Vasta, George Ray, Daisy Lagasca, Connie Edwards and Kammie Ngo.  

Meritorious Marine for February 2023


Want to Host

a Meritorious Marine ?

Who may be a Host: Individual, Business or Community Organization


Time Involved: Approximately 1 1/2 hours


When: A Saturday morning


Cost: None

1. At 11:00 am, meet Chuck Sooter, Meritorious Marine Chair, and Meritorious Marine in the Sheraton Cerritos lobby


2. Chuck Sooter explains the events to the Meritorious Marine as the Host listens


3. Walk outside to the Fountain Court with Meritorious Marine, his/her guest and Chuck Sooter for Proclamation presentation at 11:30 am by one or more Cerritos City Councilmembers


4. As Host, be recognized in a separate photo with Meritorious Marine


5. Conduct a mini-walking tour of Cerritos Civic Center with Meritorious Marine and guest. Tour includes:

a. Veterans Memorial at Civic Center

b. Library with walk through each area

c. Tour of Cerritos Sheriff's station (if previously           arranged may be guided by a Deputy Sheriff)

d. Walk through Sculpture Garden

e. While seated in the Sculpture Garden with the

Meritorious Marine and guest, explain that this

concludes the formalities of the welcome to Cerritos.

Now Meritorious Marine and guest are free to enjoy

the remainder of their weekend in Cerritos.


Benefits of a Host:

Opportunity to personally meet and say thank you to a brave young man or woman who is in service to our country

Recognition as a volunteer in the community


How to be a Host: Contact Chuck Sooter, 562-860-8174

Corporal Preston Beverly

Charlie Company, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion


Daisy Lagasca, Diane Searer (President of 1st CEB Adoption Committee), Cerritos Mayor Chuong Vo, Laurie Forward, Cpl Preston Beverly and girlfriend, Kammie Ngo, George Ray, Connie Edwards, Richard Alegria, Janet Beach, Elizabeth Kelley and Chuck Sooter's grandchildren.  

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