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Wagner Welcomes Military Hero to State of the Union Address

Jan 12, 2016
Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 12, 2016

Meghan Burris | (202) 225-1621

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) welcomes Army Captain Luis Avila as her guest to President Obama’s final State of the Union address.

Captain Avila served in several combat tours, including OPERATION NOBLE EAGLE, three combat tours in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM and his last tour in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM.

During his final deployment, Captain Avila was leading the 720th Military Police Battalion from Ft. Hood on a mission during which he sustained catastrophic injuries from a mounted improvised explosive device (IED) explosion. Captain Avila lost a leg, sustained a severe brain injury and fractured his spine. He suffered a heart attack and lay helpless in a coma for 40 days when he was returned to the United States, where he has made a miraculous recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“Captain Avila is a true patriot and hero, whose strength is both humbling and inspiring,” said Congresswoman Wagner. “As a mother of three children, one of whom is a Captain in the U.S. Army and has served in Afghanistan, I cannot begin to express my deep appreciation for Captain Avila and all members of our armed services who have sacrificed and continue to serve our country in the name of freedom. We are forever grateful and indebted.”

Captain Avila is the recipient of many honors and medals, including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business and Organizational Security Management from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.