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U.S. Army Major Receives Special Invitation to State of the Union

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- All eyes will be on the President Tuesday night as he gives his State of the Union speech, and one man from West Virginia man will be front and center.

U.S. Army Major Richard Ojeda is U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's special guest for the night -- something Ojeda believes has to do with his years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as his service here at home.

“Senator Manchin has been watching what we've been doing. He's kept up on the things we've accomplished,” Ojeda said.

We first met Ojeda in December when his organization, LEAD, was named a WSAZ Hometown Hero.

He and dozens of other volunteers from Logan County do everything from disaster relief to making sure children have presents under their Christmas trees.

Hard working and humble, Ojeda still can't believe he's getting what he calls a chance of a lifetime.

“My mother and father, they're probably still crying,” Ojeda said. “It's an honor. To be invited to something like this is something I would have never thought I would have got the opportunity to do.”

And there's a lot he hopes to represent while he's there.

“My uniform, I want to represent my county, I want to represent my state and most importantly I want to represent my name,” Ojeda said.

Specifically, he’s talking about his grandfather.

“He would never take a dime if he didn't work for it. If he worked a ten hour day, he put in ten hours worth of swinging, picking and shoveling,” Ojeda said.

Since landing in Washington D.C. Tuesday afternoon, Ojeda has met up with Manchin and has taken a tour of the White House.


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