featured graphic for 2021 Heroes Luncheon with the Joint Color Guard of Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos. Photo by Katie Wiedel.

2021 Heroes Appreciation Luncheon recognizes outstanding first responders, military, medical staff

The Los Alamitos Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its second annual Heroes Appreciation Luncheon on Thursday, September 23, 2021 at the Rush Park auditorium in Rossmoor after having missed 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the community joined to honor local heroes from the Los Alamitos Police Department, Orange County Fire Authority, Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos, California Highway Patrol, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and Los Alamitos Medical Center for their outstanding dedication and remarkable acts during the past year. The honorees were presented with certificates and recognition from the City of Los Alamitos, Congressman Alan Lowenthal, Senator Tom Umberg, and Supervisor Katrina Foley.

SPC Raivyn Hearne sings the national anthem. Photo by Katie Wiedel.
SPC Raivyn Hearne sings the national anthem. Photo by Katie Wiedel.

The following individuals were honored at the 2021 Heroes Appreciation Luncheon:

  • California Highway Patrol Officer Matthew Musselmann
  • Lieutenant Colonel Leroy Cisneros of the 40th Infantry Division at Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos
  • Sergeant First Class Peter Nuoffer of the 79th Theater Sustainment Command at Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos
  • Los Alamitos Medical Center Facilities Director Greg Watt
  • Los Alamitos Medical Center Nursing Director Jon Blomberg
  • Los Alamitos Police Chief Eric Nuñez
  • Orange County Fire Authority Firefighter-Paramedic Justin Myers
  • Orange County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Gabriel Barreras

Perhaps the most intense stories came regarding the two honorees from Los Alamitos Medical Center. Nursing Director Jon Blomberg has been on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, not just treating patients but providing comfort and support when they couldn’t be visited by family and also motivating and encouraging the hospital staff. Facilities Director Greg Watt and his team created a fully functional emergency room in the parking garage at Los Alamitos Medical Center, complete with power, water, and data connections. Mr. Watt also acquired an oxygen generator from the County of Orange and connected it to the parking structure ER, allowing an unlimited supply of oxygen when oxygen supplies were running short.

The Heroes Appreciation Luncheon was led by Master of Ceremonies Manny Gouveia of the Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. The Joint Forces Combined Color Guard from Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos presented the colors and SPC Raivyn Hearne sang the national anthem. Entertainment was provided by the Los Alamitos High School Show Choir under director David Moellenkamp.

Honorees: Officer Matthew Musselmann, California Highway Patrol; LTC Leroy Cisneros, US Army. Courtesy photos.
Honorees: Officer Matthew Musselmann, California Highway Patrol; LTC Leroy Cisneros, US Army. Courtesy photos.
Honorees: Chief Eric R. Nuñez, Los Alamitos Police Department; Firefighter/Paramedic Justin Myers, Orange County Fire Authority; Deputy Gabriel Barreras, Orange county Sheriff’s Department. Courtesy photos.
Honorees: SFC Peter A. Nuoffer, US Army; Greg Watt, Facilities Director, Los Alamitos Medical Center; Jon Blomberg, ICU/CCU Director, Los Alamitos Medical Center. Courtesy photos.
Honorees: SFC Peter A. Nuoffer, US Army; Greg Watt, Facilities Director, Los Alamitos Medical Center; Jon Blomberg, ICU/CCU Director, Los Alamitos Medical Center. Courtesy photos.