Meet My Guests: The First Lady’s State of the Union Box

For nearly thirty years, the First Lady has invited guests to join her in the viewing box to watch the President deliver his State of the Union address at the Capitol. These individuals exemplify the themes and ideals that the President lays out in his address. For the President’s final State of the Union address, the individuals who will be joining the First Lady tell the story of the progress we have made since the President delivered his first address seven years ago.

Watch the President deliver his final State of the Union address at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 12 at WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU.

Follow along below and on the First Lady’s Instagram as she shares their inspiring stories.

Edith Childs

When I think back to 2007 and 2008, my memories are filled with echoes of “Fired up! Ready to Go!” This was the soundtrack of the campaign for me and millions of others across America, and it’s all thanks to Edith. It is my honor to have her sit by my side on Tuesday night for Barack’s 7th and final State of the Union. -mo

Jim Obergefell

June 26th, 2015 — the day the Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges — will always be remembered as the day love won and marriage equality became the law of the land. And it happened because so many brave men and women like Jim Obergefell traveled that long, hard journey from law to justice. Because of Jim and his late husband John, couples across America can now have their marriages recognized and respected no matter what state they call home. I am honored to have Jim join me tomorrow for the President’s final State of the Union. -mo #LoveIsLove

Photo Credit: Brandon Staton, Humans of New York

Dr. Refaai Hamo

Refaai’s story just takes my breath away. A scientist who lost his wife, daughter and five other family members in the conflict in Syria, Refaai and his family now proudly call Troy, Michigan home. And today, Refaai is hard at work, developing inventions that could change our lives. I’m proud to welcome Refaai and his family to America and honored to have him join me as my guest for the President’s final State of the Union. -mo

Spencer Stone

Earlier this year, Spencer and his two friends prevented a terrorist attack on a train in France. Because of their courage, quick thinking, and teamwork, a terrible tragedy was averted. With their heroic acts, these young men inspired me and people around the world. I am proud to have Spencer join me for Barack’s final State of the Union. -mo

Naveed Shah

Naveed immigrated to the United States from Saudi Arabia as a young boy. After September 11th, 2001, Naveed wanted to do his part to protect our country so he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After four years and a deployment to Iraq, Naveed returned home and got his college degree, and now he spends his time helping his fellow veterans transition to civilian life. Through Joining Forces, both Dr. Biden and I have seen firsthand how important it is for our men and women in uniform to be there for each other and I’m proud Naveed is my guest at tomorrow’s State of the Union. –mo

Earl Smith

Barack first met Earl back in 2008 by chance in an elevator in Austin. Earl gave then-Senator Obama a military patch he had worn serving in Vietnam and every day since. After 40 years, Earl handed that patch over to Barack, and Barack carried it in his pocket all the way to the White House. Stories like this are rarely heard, but make such an impact on the President. I am honored to have Earl join me for the President’s final State of the Union this Tuesday. –mo

See the full list of this year’s State of the Union guests at go.wh.gov/SOTUGuests.

Tune in to the President’s final State of the Union address at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 12 at WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU.

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