When President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address on Tuesday, 23 Iraq War veterans are expected to be watching from the gallery, thanks to a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
Thirteen Democrat and 10 Republican members of Congress agreed to use the guest ticket they are allocated to bring along a veteran to the historic event. They will sit in the House gallery during the speech.
Among the veterans attending is Marine Sgt. Joseph Collins, 27, who served four years in the military, including a tour in Iraq. He was invited by Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, who made the announcement about the initiative to include veterans.
"Gosh. It's very nice, very swell. It's humbling. I'm very fortunate," Collins told WJW-TV in Cleveland. "It's a big thing to actually see it in person. I never saw a president in person, and me being a veteran and whatnot, it's going to be a big, epic event."
Here is a full list of participating lawmakers:
- Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, D-Ohio
- Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Alabama
- Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Florida
- Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minnesota
- Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas
- Rep. John Carney, D- Delaware
- Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisconsin
- Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D- New York
- Rep. David McKinley, R- West Virginia
- Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R- Maryland
- Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Michigan
- Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Florida
- Rep. Donna Edwards, D- Maryland
- Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Missouri
- Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nevada
- Rep. Diane Black, R-Tennessee
- Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pennsylvania
- Rep. Tim Bishop, D-New York
- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D- Florida
- Rep. Ben R. Lujan, D-New Mexico
- Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-California
- Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio
- Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio
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