The White House on Monday released the details of those who will be guests of President Donald Trump at his first State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Among those who will be seated in first lady Melania Trump’s box are Elizabeth Alvarado, Robert Mickens, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Freddy Cuevas, parents of two girls murdered by MS-13 gang members.
In March 2017, police arrested more than a dozen MS-13 gang members for the murders of 15-year-old Nisa Mickens and 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas in Long Island, N.Y. Their bodies were found in September 2016. Both had been brutally beaten.
Authorities say Cuevas had been “marked for death” because of a feud with gang members on social media, and Mickens had just been “in the’ wrong place at the wrong time.”
Also invited is “CJ” Martinez, a special with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit, whose investigations led to the arrests of more than 100 MS-13 gang members for homicide, assault, narcotics, and weapons trafficking.
The president invited 15 people as his guests of honor. Among them are the first blind double amputee to reenlist in the Marines and a police officer who adopted a child whose parents were addicted to opioids.
Corporal Matthew Bradford, who stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) during his deployment in Iraq, was blinded by the explosion and lost both of his legs, becoming “the first blind double amputee to reenlist in the Marines.”
Albuquerque Police Officer Ryan 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,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday.
Other guests include:
Staff Sergeant Justin Peck, who was part of a team clearing IEDs from territory once controlled by ISIS;
Preston Sharp, who 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;
Corey Adams, a welder in Dayton, Ohio, and a first-time homeowner, who along with his wife plan to use the extra money from the president’s tax cut to invest in their daughters’ education;
Jon Bridgers, founder of the Cajun Navy – a rescue and recovery organization that responded to flooding in south Louisiana in 2016 and Hurricane Harvey in Texas in 2016;
David Dahlberg, a fire technician who saved more than 60 children and staff from a wildfire surrounding their camp in southern California;
Ashlee Leppert, who rescued dozens during last year’s hurricane season;
Siblings Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger, owner of Staub Manufacturing Solutions, who “were able to grow to new heights in 2017” thanks to the “Trump bump in the economy,” and who plan to give all their employees bigger Christmas bonuses.