Meet President Trump’s special State of the Union guests

The White House has released a list of the guests who will attend Tuesday night’s State of the Union address as guests of President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

Stephanie and Janiyah Davis of Philadelphia

Janiyah Davis is a fourth grade student from Philadelphia. She loves art and math, but she has been assigned to low-performing schools. Her mom, Stephanie, is a hardworking single mother who tried to apply for a tax credit scholarship. But due to a recent state veto of school choice legislation, Janiyah remained among the estimated 50,000 students on a waitlist.

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Kelli and Gage Hake of Stillwater, Oklahoma

Kelli Hake was at home with her 1-year-old son, Gage, when she learned that her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Hake, had been killed while serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. While on patrol, Hake’s fighting vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.

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Jody Jones of Farmersville, California

On Dec. 17, 2018, Jody Jones’ brother, Rocky Jones, was shot and killed in Tulare County, California. The criminal who committed this murder had previously been arrested for violent crimes. The criminal was arrested in December 2018 for the sixth time, but because of California’s sanctuary state policy, he was released from jail. A few days later, he went on a 24-hour “reign of terror,” injuring several people, robbing a gas station, leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase and killing 51-year old Rocky, who was known as a kind and gentle soul. Rocky leaves behind a daughter and four brothers.

Paul Morrow of Montgomery, Alabama

Paul Morrow is a U.S. Army veteran. After leaving the military, Morrow started a successful contracting business and is building a new concrete plant in an Opportunity Zone in Montgomery. This new plant will help support several new F-35 jets that are stationed in the region.

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Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz of Del Rio, Texas

Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz has helped protect America’s homeland for nearly three decades. Prior to joining the U.S. Border Patrol in 1991, Ortiz served in the Army. In 2019, he became the chief patrol agent of the Del Rio Sector, which made him responsible for all Border Patrol operations in 41 Texas counties. Recently, Ortiz was promoted to deputy chief of U.S. Border Patrol, the second in command for more than 20,000 agents and professional staff. His awards include the Superior Civilian Service Medal, among the Department of Defense’s highest civilian honors.

Tony Rankins of Cincinnati

After serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, Tony Rankins suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and became addicted to drugs. He lost his job and his family, served several prison sentences and ended up living out of his car. A company called “R Investments” helped train Tony in carpentry, painting, brickwork and other construction trades. Today, he works in an Opportunity Zone in Cincinnati, and his new job has helped him overcome drug addiction and reunite with his family.

Robin and Ellie Schneider of Kansas City, Mo.

Ellie Schneider was born at  21 weeks and six days. She is one of the youngest babies to survive in the United States. With the help of an incredible medical team — and the prayers of her parents and their community — Ellie kept beating the odds, exceeding milestones and fighting for life. Today, Ellie is a happy, healthy 2-year-old girl who brings joy to her mother, Robin, and her entire family.

Ivan Simonovis of Caracas, Venezuela

Ivan Simonovis was chief of police in Venezuela’s capital city and esteemed as the nation’s top cop. He was imprisoned in 2004 for protecting protesters and was held in captivity for nearly 15 years by the Chavez and Maduro regimes. He escaped from Venezuela in 2019 and was brought to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Information was used from an official White House release.