- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2018

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will host 14 guests at the State of the Union address Tuesday, including hero rescuers from last year’s hurricane disasters and parents of two girls slain by the MS-13 gang, according to the White House.

The guests’ stories reflect key elements of Mr. Trump’s agenda, from the benefits of economic growth to support for the military.

The list of guests provided by the White House included:

• Corey Adams, a skilled welder at Staub Manufacturing Solutions in Ohio, and his wife were able to become first-time homeowners in 2017. They plan to invest extra money from tax cuts into their two daughters’ education savings.

• Elizabeth Alvarado, Robert Mickens, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Freddy Cuevas are the parents of Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas, close friends who were brutally murdered in 2016 by MS-13 gang members.

• Retired Cpl. Matthew Bradford, a Marine, was blinded and lost both legs in 2007 after stepping on an IED in Iraq. After multiple surgeries and therapy, he became the first blind double amputee to re-enlisted in the Marines.

• Jon Bridgers founded the Cajun Navy 2016, a nonprofit rescue and recovery organization that responded to the 2016 flooding in south Louisiana and 2017’s Hurricane Harvey in Texas, helping thousands of people across the South.

• David Dahlberg, a fire prevention technician in southern California, saved 62 children and staff members in July 2017 from a raging wildfire that encircled their camp.

• Ryan Holets, a police officer, and his wife adopted a baby from parents who suffered from opioid addiction. The White House described them as breaking down walls between drug addicts and police officers.

• Ashlee Leppert, an aviation electronics technician in the United States Coast Guard, rescued dozens of people during the devastating hurricane season, including lifting a woman and four children to safety in a basket.

• C.J. Martinez, a 15-year veteran of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement whose career dismantling criminal organizations resulted in more than 100 arrests of MS-13 gang members for homicide, assault and narcotics and weapons trafficking.

• Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, organized the placement of more than 40,000 American flags and red carnations on soldiers’ graves. His volunteer work was inspired by a visit to his veteran grandfather’s grave in 2015 when he noticed that other local veterans were not being honored with American flags or flowers.

• Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger, siblings who started Staub Manufacturing Solutions, credit the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with helping to grow their business, hire more workers and give employees larger Christmas bonuses last year.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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