Here are the special guests who will join the President and First Lady at the U.S. Capitol when President Donald J. Trump delivers the second State of the Union Address of his presidency.
This year’s guests come from all different walks of life, and each has an incredible story to tell. No matter their background, each one has something important in common: They represent the very best of America.
Meet the special people who will join the First Lady and President Trump:
Buzz Aldrin is one of the most famous astronauts in history. He and Neil Armstrong were the first men to set foot on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission. Fifty years ago, Buzz planted the American Flag on the face of the moon. He has written 9 books, is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, and is a tireless advocate for space exploration and discovery.
Debra Bissell, Heather Armstrong, and Madison Armstrong
Gerald and Sharon David of Reno, Nevada, were tragically murdered in their home in Nevada by an illegal immigrant in January 2019. The terrible loss has devastated both their community and three generations of their family who will be represented at the State of the Union: the Davids’ daughter Debra, granddaughter Heather, and great-granddaughter Madison.
Matthew Charles’s life is a story of redemption. In 1996, he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for selling crack cocaine and other related offenses. While in prison, Matthew found God, completed more than 30 bible studies, became a law clerk, taught GED classes, and mentored fellow inmates. On January 3, 2019, Matthew was the first prisoner released as a result of the First Step Act.
Everyone who knows Grace would tell you that she has always been special. Wherever she goes, she brightens the room with her kind heart and infectious smile. At an early age, she decided that she wanted to forgo gifts at her birthday parties, and instead ask for charity donations. At 9 years old, Grace was diagnosed with Germinoma, a germ-cell brain tumor, and in May 2018, Grace started cancer treatment. Throughout the rest of the year, Grace stayed positive and strong, making the rounds in the hospital, cheering up other patients, and always having a smile for the many caring medical professionals who treated her. Grace recently finished chemotherapy and today shows no evidence of the disease. She is determined to help other children who are fighting cancer.
Ashley Evans has struggled with opioid and substance abuse for much of her life. In 2017, she was pregnant and suffered a relapse. Her recovery began with the birth of her daughter along with the help of Brigid’s Path, a medical care facility in Kettering, Ohio. Ashley has persevered and overcome many obstacles to maintain her sobriety. She is passionate about sharing her story of hope. On February 9, 2019, Ashley will celebrate 1 year and 1 month in recovery and on February 15, 2019, she will be reunited with her daughter full-time.
Elvin Hernandez is a Special Agent with the Trafficking in Persons Unit of the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations division. He has more than 18 years of Federal law enforcement experience investigating narcotics, gangs, and human trafficking. During his current 7-year assignment, Elvin has conducted numerous successful international human trafficking investigations involving transnational organized crime groups.
Roy James is the Plant Manager of the Vicksburg Forest Products lumber facility. He had worked at the sawmill for 26 years and become Vice President of Operations when he was told that the facility would close its doors. Thankfully, last year, Vicksburg was designated an Opportunity Zone through provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The plant soon reopened and Roy was hired to oversee the entire facility.