President Obama delivering the 2012 State of the Union Address (White House photo)

Traditionally — but especially during times of war or conflict — military have been special guests of the President, the Vice President or their ladies at State of the Union Addresses.

Tonight, three guests with military ties will join First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, in the first lady’s box at President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, according to the American Forces Press Service.

They are:

— Marine Corps Sgt. Sheena Adams, who was deployed to Afghanistan’s Helmand province from September 2010 to April 2011 in direct support of 1st Battalion, 8th Marines. In September 2011, she returned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force’s advisor training cell, where she re-engineered the program of instruction for female engagement team members. She is a native of Kauai, Hawaii, and now lives in Vista, Calif.

— Marine Corps Sgt. Carlos Evans, who was on his fourth overseas deployment when he suffered injuries in Afghanistan that resulted in the loss of both of his legs and his left hand. During his recovery, he met the first lady and later visited the White House, where the president signed his prosthetic arm. He credits the support he has received from private organizations to Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden’s efforts in the Joining Forces initiative. In 2012, he received a custom home from Operation Coming Home. A Puerto Rico native, he and now resides in Cameron, N.C., with his wife and two young daughters.

— Tracey Hepner of Arlington, Va., is co-founder of the Military Partners and Families Coalition, which provides support, resources, education and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender military partners and their families. She a master behavior detection officer for the Homeland Security Department, and is married to the first openly gay or lesbian general officer in the military, Army Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith.


We have written about Gen. Tammy Smith here

Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Leave a replyComments (8)
  1. dduck February 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    How many gun victims did he have at the last four SOTU addresses? Just saying.

  2. DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist February 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    “Guacamole”? :)

  3. Enkindle February 12, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    The republicans are bringing Ted Nugent.

  4. justcowboyway February 12, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Here’s one that won’t be.

  5. Enkindle February 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Of NOTE:

    Yesterday’s Congressional medal of honor recipient Staff. Sgt. Clinton Romesha declined the first lady’s offer to attend the state of the union address.

  6. DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist February 12, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Enkindle says:

    Yesterday’s Congressional medal of honor recipient Staff. Sgt. Clinton Romesha declined the first lady’s offer to attend the state of the union address.

    According to CNN, here is why:

    Clint Romesha, who was awarded the prestigious medal for uncommon valor in Afghanistan, told CNN that he has decided to spend the evening with friends from his former unit, Black Knight Troop, 3-61 CAV, his wife Tammy — with whom he celebrates a wedding anniversary Tuesday — and their families.

    “It’s such a great honor to be invited to the State of the Union,” Romesha, 31, told CNN. “I really feel bad about not being able to go. But a lot of these guys I haven’t seen a really long time and I’d like to hang with them just a little bit more.”

    Romesha said he also wants “to be there with the family, especially on the 13th wedding anniversary of me and Tammy,” his high school sweetheart.

    “I’ve done some soul searching,” he said. “As much as a great honor it would be to be a guest of the first lady, it’s also kind of hard to break away from the friends and the family and all the great guys here” from Black Knight Troop, who have come to Washington for the Medal of Honor events. “I just need to spend a little more time with them.”

    • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist February 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Talking about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

      Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey will honor former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with the Department of Defense’s highest award for public service on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, at 10 a.m. EST, in the Pentagon Auditorium.

      Congratulations, Mrs. Clinton

  7. dduck February 13, 2013 at 9:56 am

    What a mensch, bravo to the brave one.