U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 is honoring Vicenta Chargualaf Peredo with a wreath-laying ceremony this morning at the Veterans Cemetery in Piti. Guam. 21/06/2010.
construction electrician, both assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11, prepare to lay a wreath at the grave of Vicenta Chargualaf Peredo, also known as, Seabee Betty, at a memorial service at Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti, Guam.
U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 is honoring Vicenta Chargualaf Peredo with a wreath-laying ceremony this morning at the Veterans Cemetery in Piti. Born in 1934 in the village of Yona, Peredo, affectionately called “Seabee Betty” by service members and civilians alike, was a surrogate mother and true friend to thousands of Seabees deployed to Guam starting in the 1950s when she began reaching out to Seabees until her death in 2003.
Hosting welcome and farewell fiestas for Seabees deployed far from home was one of the many ways that Seabee Betty helped cultivate a sense of community between military members and the Chamorro people. Her hospitality, kindness and extension of the Hafa Adai spirit helped countless Seabees endure the stress and strain of working long hours and being separated from loved ones.
A legend in her own time, Seabee Betty represented the warmth, generosity and inclusiveness indicative of Guam’s culture. In her lifetime, numerous U.S. senators, Chiefs of Naval Operation, and other military leadership recognized her for her community service.
NMCBs have been on Guam since the island’s liberation from Japanese occupation in 1944. Since then, Seabees did the initial construction on the island’s main thoroughfare, Marine Corps Drive, and helped Guam recover from the devastation of typhoons.
NMCBs provide responsive military construction support to Navy, Marine Corps and other forces in military operations, construct base facilities and conduct defensive operations. They are able to work and defend themselves at construction sites outside of their base camp and convoy through unsecured areas.