The 15 Guests Trump Is Bringing to His State of the Union Address Says a Lot About What He Values

On Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders held a press briefing and opened up by announcing who would be attending President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

Here’s who they are:

  • Corey Adams
    • “Corey’s a skilled welder at Staub Manufacturing Solutions in Dayton, Ohio. Last year, Corey and his wife were able to become first-time homeowners, and they will invest their extra money from the Trump tax cuts into their two daughters’ education savings.”
  • Elizabeth Alvarado, Robert Mickens, Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas
    • “These two couples are the parents of two beautiful young girls, Nisa and Kayla, who were brutally murdered by MS-13 gang members.”
  • Cpl. Matthew Bradford
    • “In 2007, Cpl. Bradford stepped on an IED while deployed in Iraq. He was blinded by the blast and lost both of his legs. After multiple surgeries and therapy, he became the first blind double amputee to re-enlist in the Marines.”
  • Jon Bridgers
    • “Mr. Bridgers founded the Cajun Navy in 2016, a nonprofit rescue and recovery organization that responded in 2016 to flooding in south Louisiana and in 2017 to Hurricane Harvey in Texas. He and his team have helped thousands of people across the South.”
  • David Dahlberg
    • “Mr. Dahlberg is a fire technician who saved 62 children and staff members from a raging wildfire that encircled their camp in Southern California.”
  • Officer Ryan Holets
    • “Ryan serves as a police officer in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In his six years on the force, he has been shot twice and experienced several near-death encounters. Officer Holets and his wife adopted a baby from parents who suffered from opioid addiction, breaking down walls between drug addicts and police officers to help save lives.”
  • Ashlee Leppert
    • “Mrs. Leppert rescued dozens of Americans during last year’s devastating hurricane season.”
  • Agent CJ Martinez
    • “Agent Martinez is a special agent for ISIS Homeland Security investigations unit. His investigations have led to more than 100 arrests of MS-13 gang members who were prosecuted for crimes including homicide, assault, and narcotics and weapons trafficking.”
  • Staff Sgt. Justin Peck
    • “Last year, Staff Sgt. Peck was part of a team clearing IEDs from territory previously controlled by ISIS. When one of his compatriots was struck by a blast, he rushed to their side, saving their life while risking his own.”
  • Preston Sharp
    • “Mr. Sharp has organized the placement of more than 40,000 American flags and red carnations on soldiers’ graves as part of his goal to honor veterans in all 50 states and to challenge others to join the flag and flower challenge.”
  • Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger
    • “These siblings started Staub Manufacturing Solutions 20 years ago. Thanks to the Trump bump in the economy, they were able to grow to new heights in 2017, and thanks to the Trump tax cuts, they were able to give all of their employees larger Christmas bonuses.”

Sanders summarized:

“Some of these individuals’ stories are heroic, some are patriotic, others are tragic. But all of them represent the unbreakable American spirit and will inspire our nation to continue growing stronger, prouder and more prosperous.”


Many in Congress have announced they will not attend the State of the Union, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who will be responding to Trump’s address on BET.

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