Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D – Fullerton) proudly announced her selection of the 2023 Veteran of the Year for the 67th Assembly District. While many truly inspirational nominees were submitted from constituents and local community organizations, longtime veteran advocate and Hawaiian Gardens resident Mike Laughlin has been named the Veteran of the Year.
“I’m proud to announce Mike Laughlin as the District Veteran of the Year. Mike’s lifetime of service serves as an inspiration, from his days in the U.S. Navy, including service during the Vietnam War, to his 30-year career as a civil servant for the Navy, and his extensive involvement with the Veterans of Foreign Wars,” said Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva. “Mike Laughlin truly exemplifies the spirit of service, and we are immensely grateful for his dedication to our veterans and community.”
Mike Laughlin’s life is one of dedication to both military service and veterans’ advocacy. He began his service in the Navy in 1970, serving on the U.S.S. Alamo and earning a combat ribbon during the Vietnam War. After his military service, he worked as a civil servant for the Navy for three decades and has been an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. His commitment to veterans’ welfare extends to volunteer work, where he has served meals at the Fisher House and participated in various VA programs. Beyond the VFW, Mike played a key role in designing and revamping veterans’ memorials, volunteered at The Wall That Heals, and served as a valuable member of Congresswoman Linda Sanchez’s Veterans Advisory Council, advocating for his fellow veterans and community.
“I am honored to be selected, knowing so many veterans like myself who see continued service to our brothers and sisters as an extension of our initial service were also nominated,” said Mike Laughlin. “I am proud and humbled to be in such exalted company.”
Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva represents the 67th Assembly District, which includes the Orange County communities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, and La Palma, as well as the Los Angeles County communities of Artesia, Cerritos, and Hawaiian Gardens.