Tags: SOTU 2015 | obama | guests | first lady | SOTU | address | michelle obama

9 Guests at Obama's SOTU Address — Who Are They?

By    |   Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015 01:02 PM

Ever since Ronald Reagan was in the White House, presidents have invited guests to sit in the first lady's box at the Capitol while they delivered their annual State of the Union addresses.

The guests who will sit with Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, and Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett during President Barack Obama's address Tuesday night include:

1. Alan Gross — an American government contractor, was arrested in Cuba in 2009 and sentenced to 15 years for trying to deliver satellite telephones and computer equipment without a license. He was released in December as part of a deal between Obama and President Raul Castro of Cuba. Gross will be joined by his wife, Judy.

2. Scott Kelly — has been an astronaut since 1996 and spent more than 180 days at the International Space Station. He will return there in March for a one-year stay. Kelly's twin brother, Mark, also an astronaut, has become a gun control crusader since his wife, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in the head in 2011.

3. Dr. Pranav Shetty — is the global emergency health coordinator for the International Medical Corps. He spent months in Liberia overseeing treatment for Ebola victims.

4. Larry Merlo — is CVS Health president and CEO. The chain is the first major retail pharmacy to eliminate tobacco sales at all its stores, a move applauded by the Obama administration.

5. Ana Zamora — was allowed to remain in the United States under a 2012 program to end the risk of deportation for young aliens brought to the country illegally, a program the House recently voted to reverse. Zamora wrote in a letter to the president that her parents "came to this country with a dream of a better future for their children."

6. Staff Sgt. Jason Gibson — lost both legs in Afghanistan. Unable to use prosthetics, he nevertheless took up surfing and skiing, obtained a pilot's license, and completed marathons on a hand cycle.

7. Prophet Walker — served a 6-year prison sentence for robbery and founded a program to help inmates get an education.

8. Anthony Mendez — grew up in a South Bronx family that was homeless for a time, but became the first member of his family to graduate from high school and go on to attend college.

9. Capt. Phillip Tingirides — of the Los Angeles Police Department leads a program that has helped people in Watts fight crime and has promoted better relations between police and the community.

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Ever since Ronald Reagan was in the White House, presidents have invited guests to sit in the first lady's box at the Capitol while they delivered their annual State of the Union addresses.
obama, guests, first lady, SOTU, address, michelle obama
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2015-02-20
Tuesday, 20 Jan 2015 01:02 PM
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