Congressman Salud Carbajal wished longtime Cambria American Legion member Chuck McMillan a happy 90th birthday during a Post No. 432 meeting May 2.
McMillan, a World War II veteran, has been a member of the post longer than anybody else, according to the group’s records.
Earlier on the same day, a large crowd of McMillan’s friends, customers and fellow Legionnaires helped celebrate his birthday with a barbecue at Cambria Hardware, the business he’s owned for decades, plus his new mercantile shop next door in Tin City. They even presented McMillan with a big “Best Human on the Planet Earth” trophy.
In Carbajal’s talk at the Legion meeting, he spoke of his history as an immigrant child, a resident of “the projects,” a UC Santa Barbara graduate, U.S. Marine and a freshman legislator. The congressman also discussed his concerns about various veterans’ issues and how he hopes to help correct them.
Carbajal, who represents the 24th Congressional District, which encompasses San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties as well as a slice of Ventura County, itemized some actions he’s taken and bipartisan legislation that he feels would help Cambria and the North Coast in a subsequent interview with The Cambrian.
Among the issues he highlighted were grants to replace aging water and wastewater infrastructure, improve water quality and conservation practices and freeing up funds that could then be used to mitigate wildfire risk before disaster strikes, such as in Cambria’s rare native Monterey pine forest.
“It can be discouraging, but this is still the best democracy in the world,” he said earlier in the evening, noting his frustrations with the partisan legislature and its penchant for playing politics rather than solving problems.