State of The Union 2018


My Take


By Susie Haynie


The State of the Union Speech has always been an important event and I have watched many. It is meant to lay out the events of the year and accomplishments of our government officials, as well as our unsung heroes. One poster on social media likened the evening as a “pep rally” for the country. One of the highlights of the night is to introduce guests who have impacted our country in positive ways or they want to make a difference in legislation due to hardships or tragedies they have suffered.

President Trump opened his speech tonight with emotion and feeling. His “Heart and Soul” theme was well received by the Republicans. As with most State of the Union speeches, the President led with positivity and strength, speaking on the “beauty of America’s soul and steel in America’s spine.“  “The State of the Union is strong because our People are strong” was a favorite quote. I have always felt Americans are strong and this country is great in spite of some who believe we should be ashamed of that. Maybe the days of being mediocre are over for a while? Time will tell.

President Trump highlighted several guests during his speech and thanked them for their service. The guests were received with applause and gratitude and a lot of emotion. Ashlee Leppert, a US Coast Guard aviation electronics technician was honored for her bravery during the hurricane season. She helped save dozens of lives including one woman who was carrying 4 small children in bags. They were airlifted to safety by Leppert and her crew.


Photo Credit: Global Dispatch

The President also highlighted the many people who worked to rescue people with their boats, sacrificing themselves for their neighbors. John Bridgers is the founder of Cajun Navy which is a non-profit rescue organization with many teams from Louisiana. It was an honor to work with our Facebook groups to direct and dispatch rescuers to people who needed help.    I would like to thank our leadership and dispatchers for their persistent and tireless work to help the Cajun Navy, Texas Navy, and other rescue groups. These are the unsung heroes in my humble opinion. They answered the call when Hurricane Harvey and Irma hit and came to Texas’s and Florida’s aid. They are still active in our groups to bring to light the continued help that Puerto Rico needs after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. We should note that Puerto Rico is still in trouble and will need assistance for some time to come. An estimated 450,000 still remain without electricity but we are seeing more American companies sending trucks and technicians. President Trump has been criticized for his response to Puerto Rico. I believe they should have had the help needed with as much vigor as was given to Texas and Florida. I am so proud of our private citizens as well as great organizations and First Responders that stepped up in a time of need through Harvey, Irma, and Maria. It does show a strong resolve from our nation.

Photo Credit:

David Dahlberg, a firefighter from California was honored for his work to save 62 children and staff members at a camp from the raging wildfires of 2017.


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