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Sasse, Fortenberry announce State of Union guests

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse has announced that Rachel Wilke will attend the State of the Union as his guest. Rachel is the wife of James Wilke, a Nebraska hero, who perished rescuing a driver who was stranded in the floodwaters near Columbus last March during Nebraska's historic flooding.

“Rachel and her husband, James, are Nebraska strong. This family shows Americans what it means to love your neighbor. James was selfless, hardworking, and our whole state stands behind Rachel and all of the other flood victims as we continue the long process of recovery. Nebraskans have a lot of grit and integrity - that's why we can count on each other when we need it most. I'm honored to welcome Rachel to the State of the Union.”

Previously, Senator Sasse has invited high school athlete Noah Lambrecht, Nebraska State Trooper John Lewis, Paxton farmer Jon Holzfaster, and Dr. Philip Smith, the Medical Director of the UNMC Biocontainment Unit.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry will bring new University of Nebraska President Walter “Ted” Carter as his guest to the Feb. 5 speech in Washington, D.C.

“I work intimately with the University of Nebraska and state leadership on public policies for the well-being of our students, rural communities, and businesses.  In this exciting time for Nebraska, as we lead innovation in agriculture, security, and health care, I am honored that this highly decorated Naval commander and education leader will be my guest of honor at this year’s State of the Union,” said Fortenberry.