Obama paid tribute in his State of the Union address to Sergeant
First Class Cory Remsburg, who spent months in a coma after being
wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Remsburg is blind in one
eye and had to re-learn to speak and walk after he was left
Remsburg sat next to first lady Michelle Obama in her box during the
address, appearing calm and giving a thumbs up at a couple of
moments during the president's remarks.
The president, who had met Remsburg before his injuries, described
him as someone who "does not quit," prompting a long standing
During the annual address before Congress, Obama called for steps to
bolster America's middle class, pave the way for immigration reform
and establish new fuel efficiency standards for trucks.
He also urged action to ensure that men and women get equal pay for
equal work and to make sure that wounded soldiers receive adequate
health care and job training.
Obama first met Remsburg at Omaha Beach in France in 2009 on the
65th anniversary of the World War Two invasion known as D-Day. Obama
said he found him impressive and they took some photos and joked
A few months later, Remsburg was found face-down in a canal with
shrapnel in his brain, Obama said.
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His recovery has involved dozens of surgeries and many hours of
physical therapy, the White House said.
The president told Remsburg's story at the close of his speech,
making the point that the country's big challenges have "never come
But he added, "if we work together; if we summon what is best in us,
with our feet planted firmly in today but our eyes cast towards
tomorrow — I know it's within our reach."
(Reporting by Emily Stephenson; editing by Caren Bohan and Jim
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