President Joe Biden will be giving his State of the Union speech in Congress Tuesday night in front of lawmakers and the nation, but there will be several guests of honor in attendance sitting with Jill Biden in the First Lady’s Box.
Among the guests are an ambassador, a soldier, a lawmaker’s spouse and an entertainer.
Here is who the White House says will be at Tuesday’s speech:
Maurice and Kandice Barron
Maurice Barron had written a letter to President Biden thanking him for the support of the Cancer Moonshot initiative. The Barrons’ 3-year-old daughter Ava had a rare form of pediatric cancer and is in remission.
Lynette Bonar is a member of the Navajo Nation and served as a sergeant and medic in the Army. She has been a registered nurse and executive at the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation. The first lady appeared with Bonar in 2019 for the opening of the corporation’s Specialty Care Center, the first cancer center on a Native American reservation, to provide oncology services and treatment to the Navajo, Hopi and San Juan Southern Paiute people.
The frontman for U2 continues his fight against HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty. Bono helped build the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program announced by President George W. Bush during his State of the Union 20 years ago when the current president was a Senator.
Deanna Branch told Vice President Kamala Harris about the lead exposure to her family. Branch is trying to make her community a lead-safe environment after her son Aiden acquired lead poisoning from high levels of lead in their drinking water at home.
Kristin Christensen and Avarie Kollmar
Kristin Christensen’s husband was medically retired from the Navy after suffering from combat-related injuries. She and her daughter Aarie Kollmar advocate for military and veteran children in homes where there is an injured service member. The children are known as “Hidden Helpers.” The Seattle mother-daughter duo share their story to make sure others in their position know they’re not alone.
Ruth Cohen is a Holocaust survivor and now volunteers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She met the Vice President and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff before International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2022. Cohen is a guest of Emhoff at Tuesday’s State of the Union.
Mitzi Colin Lopez
Mitzi Colin Lopez was brought to the U.S. by her parents from Mexico when she was only 3 years old. Colin Lopez is a DREAMer and received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2015. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and shared her experiences as a DACA recipient when she met the president in 2021.
Maurice “Dion” Dykes
Maurice “Dion” Dykes is training to become a teacher through a Registered Apprenticeship program in Tennessee which allows people to become educators at no cost. Dykes was a graphic designer for 25 years. He and the first lady met during her visit to Sarah Moore Green Magnet Academy.
Kate Foley is a 10th grader focusing on computer-integrated manufacturing at a public high school in Illinois. The school prepares students for careers through partnerships with the local community college, employers and career advising programs. Foley wants to become a biomedical engineer. She met the first lady during a visit to Foley’s school, Rolling Meadows High School.
Darlene Gaffney is a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed in March 2015. She shares her experience battling cancer and the importance of early detection and cancer screenings as part of Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church’s Cancer Support Ministry.
Doug Griffin’s 20-year-old daughter Courtney died in 2014 when she overdosed on fentanyl. He is now using his experience to support other families who are affected by addiction and is calling for better access to substance abuse treatment services. Griffin wrote the president and the first lady to share his family’s story as the president’s National Drug Control Strategy tries to combat the overdose epidemic.
Saria Gwin-Maye is a union ironworker in Cincinnati. She introduced the president during an appearance this year at Brent Spence Bridge in Covington, Kentucky. The bridge is one of the projects that is being paid for through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Jacki Liszak is the president and CEO of the Fort Meyers Beach Chamber of Commerce and is an elected Fire Commissioner for the fire control district. She and her husband are also small business owners. Liszak met the president and the first lady went the couple surveyed the storm damage left behind by Hurricane Ian. The Fort Meyers area is being helped by the infrastructure act to make it more resilient to extreme weather by helping the power grid, roads, bridges, water systems and homes.
Harry Miller is a senior studying mechanical engineering and a former football player at The Ohio State University. Miller stepped away from football saying he wanted to prioritize his mental health and has become an advocate for mental health and emotional wellness.
Gina and Heidi Nortonsmith
Gina and Heidi Nortonsmith were the plaintiffs in Goodridge vs. MA Dept. of Public Heath that lead Massachusettes to be the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. On the first day that marriage licenses were issued in 2004, the Nortonsmiths got married. They introduced the president during the Respect for Marriage Act in 2022.
Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was attacked in the couple’s home in the fall of 2022 by an intruder who was allegedly politically motivated. The alleged attacker reportedly asked Paul Pelosi “Where’s Nancy?”
Paul Sarzozo is a small business owner fo a cleaning and facilities services company. His biggest customer is expanding because of the president’s CHIPS and Science Act and because of that company’s expansion, Sarzozo needs to add up to 200 employees in the next year.
Brandon Tsay disarmed a shooter at the Monterey Park Lunar New Year celebrations. He is credited with preventing the shooter, who had killed 11 people and injured 10 others, from carrying out a second attack.
RowVaughn and Rodney Wells
Row Vaughn and Rodney Wells are the mother and stepfather of Tyre Nichols, a 29 -year-old unarmed Black man who was beaten by multiple Memphis police officers after an alleged traffic stop. Nichols died three days after the beating, which was caught on body camera video and recently released to the public. The president has called on Congress to send the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to his desk to ensure cases like Nichols and Floyd do not happen again.
Amanda and Josh Zurawski
Amanda Zurawski was 18 weeks pregnant when her water broke. Doctors were not able to help her because they were not sure if they would be violating the Texas abortion ban which prohibits abortions unless a woman’s life is in danger so they sent her home with instructions to return to the hospital if she developed signs of an infection. Three days later she became septic and nearly died because of the delay in treatment and continues to have medical complications because of it.