Letter: Veterans Day in Laguna


Growing up as a “Military Brat” living on bases in Japan, Spain, Bermuda and various U.S. bases, I fondly remember attending patriotic events such as Veterans Day. My father was an Air Force pilot who was often away on assignments out of the country. I missed him very much. So attending the Veterans Day event at Heisler Park gave me fond memories of being around so many veterans. I was the Veterans’ Affairs Coordinator at two different colleges and enjoyed so much helping vets register to get their G.I. Bill benefits, find housing, and jobs.

Retired Marine Col. Charlie Quilter gave a wonderful presentation at the event. One point he made was that it was a Marine code that politics were to never to be discussed in the Corps. So I was deeply offended when Rep. Michelle Steel used Laguna’s Veterans Day ceremony as a platform to insert her negative political statements about our losses in Afghanistan. We were there to honor our veterans, not to further her political aspirations.

Sally Coffey, Laguna Beach

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  1. It was Chris Quilter who first politicized the Veterans Day event as the guest speaker, pushing the vaccine mandate on all military, which will result in over 10,000 marines alone being discharged from the military, regardless of their valor and honor of service as veterans. Shame on Chris Quilter. Dozens of people attending the Veterans Day event walked out during Chris Quilter’s speech, disgusted by his obvious politization of the Covid vaccine mandate. As a military mom, I was deeply disturbed by Chris Quilter’s comments and obvious politization of this event.

  2. I too was deeply disturbed and saddened by Charlie Quilter’s obvious political message on what should have been a day to honor veterans. To equate what is required by the military with what civilians are NOT required to do was disgraceful. This otherwise honorable man had many wonderful topics on which he could have spoken. To have used this sacred day to extoll his political views is shameless in my opinion and I wish someone could have cut him off from his rhetoric.
    I was equally disturbed by Councilwoman Sue Kempf’s flagrant distain for our elected Congresswoman, Michelle Steel. Not only did Kempf leave early (all the other dignitaries were still in their seats) but she was in the walkway behind me talking loudly and laughing while the Congresswoman spoke. She had to be told to be quiet by a member of the audience. That rude behavior is not something I want in a person representing Laguna Beach. Respect is respect and she had none. Shame on her. Do you think she would have done that if a Democrat was speaking????

  3. I think you have the name wrong. Charlie Quilter, a retired marine and war hero, was a guest speaker at the Veterans Day event not his brother Chris.


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