The loudest and longest standing ovation came towards the end of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night — but it wasn’t in support the president of the United States.
The chamber erupted when Obama introduced Staff Sgt. Cory Remsburg, a heroic Army Ranger who was nearly killed by an IED explosion in October.
“A few months later, on his 10th deployment, Cory was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in Afghanistan. His comrades found him in a canal, face down, underwater, shrapnel in his brain,” Obama explained. “For months, he lay in a coma. The next time I met him, in the hospital, he couldn’t speak; he could barely move. Over the years, he’s endured dozens of surgeries and procedures, and hours of grueling rehab every day.”
Remsburg, who is still blind in one eye, still struggles with the left side of his body, but he refuses to give up, the president continued.
“Day by day, he’s learned to speak again and stand again and walk again – and he’s working toward the day when he can serve his country again,” Obama said.
Obama then revealed that Remsburg was in the audience, sending the chamber on Capitol Hill into a frenzy. At one point, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel can be seen tearing up.
“Cory is here tonight. And like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg never gives up, and he does not quit,” the president said to thunderous applause.
The standing ovation lasted for several minutes.