Santa Maria's 2021 class of Hometown Heroes includes not only veterans and active military members but also essential workers in the medical field, social services and agriculture who have been recognized as heroes in their own right for their work during the pandemic. 

Hometown Heroes was launched in 2016 as a way to honor those who have served or are serving in the military. This year, the community was encouraged to also nominate first responders, health-care professionals and other essential workers.

Twenty total honorees are included in the 2021 class. Along with 19 individual residents, Marian Regional Medical Center health-care staff and CEO Sue Andersen were recognized.

Honorees received certificates of appreciation from the Santa Maria City Council during its Tuesday meeting at the Veterans Memorial Center, and will have a 3-by-6 commemorative banner displaying their photo along College Drive for the next six months.

The 2021 Hometown Heroes are as follows: 

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  • Sue Anderson and the health-care team at Marian Regional Medical Center
  • Mariah Savannah Arellano — Navy
  • Mikayla Arriola — Navy
  • Albert R. Bohl — Marine Corps
  • Arturo Carrasco — Army
  • Catarino Chavez — essential worker (agriculture)
  • James A. Cozart — Air Force
  • Manuel Flores — Air Force
  • Frederick James Inguito — Army
  • Eustaquio M. Labastida — Army
  • Sammy Theodore Labastida — Army
  • Pamela McNeil — Air Force and first responder
  • Monica Palacios — essential worker (social services)
  • Alice Patino — Santa Maria mayor
  • Christopher E. Rodriguez — Marine Corps
  • Raymundo Toledo — essential worker (agriculture)
  • Rafael Torres — Marine Corps and first responder
  • Elijah F. Uvalle — Navy
  • Myrl A. Wallace — Navy
  • Leticia Rios Zamudio — essential worker (social services)

The Summer of 2022 Class of Honorees is currently accepting nominees. For more information, visit

Residents can direct questions to the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department at 805-925-0951, ext. 2260.


Santa Maria City Reporter

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Laura Place covers city government, policy and elections in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara County. Follow her on Twitter @itslaurasplace

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