January 29th, 2014
01:21 AM ET
7 months ago

A bipartisan outpouring for wounded war hero at State of the Union

(CNN) - It’s a partisan see-saw that marks when Democrats and Republicans stand and applause at a State of the Union address. Tax cuts – cue Republicans, raise the minimum wage – hurrah go the Democrats.

But on Tuesday night, an Army soldier with a heroic and remarkable story obliterated that custom, receiving arguably the most heartfelt expression of bipartisan gratitude any Congress could muster – a nearly two-minute standing ovation.

Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg was seated beside first lady Michelle Obama as President Barack Obama heralded his sacrifice in Afghanistan.

During his final tour of duty in October 2009, Remsburg was severely injured by a roadside bomb in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The blast left him in a coma for three months. He was partially paralyzed and brain damaged.

Obama said Remsburg is blind in one eye and struggles with movement on his left side.

“Cory is here tonight,” Obama said as cameras fixed on the Army Ranger in his full-dress uniform.

“And like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg never gives up, and he does not quit. Cory!”

As those packing the House chamber jumped to their feet and erupted in applause, Remsburg stood and gave the crowd a thumbs up. Obama reciprocated by saluting him.

Obama first met the 30-year-old at the 65th anniversary of D-Day at Omaha Beach in 2009, before the roadside bomb blast.

“Along with some of his fellow Rangers, he walked me through the program, the ceremony – he was a strong, impressive young man, with an easy manner, sharp as a tack,” Obama said during the speech. “We joked around, and took pictures, and I told him to stay in touch.”

Obama again met Remsburg at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, as he lay in the hospital after the bomb blast nearly killed him.

“He couldn’t speak; could barely move,” Obama said. “Over the years, he’s endured dozens of surgeries and procedures, hours of grueling rehab every day.”

According to a lengthy profile of Remsburg in the New York Times, Obama met privately with the soldier in Phoenix in August 2013, where Remsberg “did something that neither Mr. Obama nor military doctors would once have predicted: he stood up and saluted his commander in chief.”

For his heroism, the Arizona native was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
During the speech, Obama used Remsburg’s story to convey the broader point that Washington can get things done, even though they may seem near impossible.

“My fellow Americans, men and women like Cory remind us that America has never come easy,” Obama said.

“Our freedom, our democracy, has never been easy. Sometimes we stumble; we make mistakes; we get frustrated or discouraged. … But if we work together; if we summon what is best in us the way Cory summoned the best in him, with our feet planted firmly in today but our eyes cast towards tomorrow – I know it’s within our reach.”

soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. tom l

    Rudy NYC

    yolanda

    Wow. Professor Rudy is comparing (Fidy Cents) comment on Progressives disliking veterans to Repubs disliking reporters. Congratulations. We now have a winner for the Deflector of the Year. Gosh Rudy, it appears that you don't practice what you preach. Shocking.
    ---------
    Progressives disliking veterans? Where did that accusation come from? Please don't tell me that it comes from the recent budget agreement, which most Republicans voted for and most Democrats voted against, that came out of the House that cut off some veterans' benefits.

    The fact of the matter is that Repubilcans demanded that refunding sequestered items in the budget would require that something else had to be cut. Democrats held Republicans' feet to the fire. Republicans wanted to restore Defense spending, and so they made the cuts to veterans' benefits in order to avoid looking like hypocrites.
    ========

    The Real TP made a great comment one day. For repubs to say that dems hate the military is foolish and ridiculous. It is also EQUALLY ridiculous for dems to say that repubs hate the military. It just shows how blinded by partisanship. The word demagogue comes to mind.

    January 29, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. tom l

    And the only friggin thing we should be talking about on this thread is the absolute shame and crime it is that this man has been on TEN deployments. And for what? I feel so deeply for our military. I just don't get what we are doing there.

    January 29, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    There is nothing in my life that I can even begin to compare to a fraction of one tenth of one percent of what this man has suffered for the sake of our country. He stood proudly to receive accolades well and honorably deserved.

    Let it be and/or switch threads.

    January 29, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Me

    Sniffit

    "will you ever understand American exceptionalism ?"

    Best healthcare system in the world!!! EXCEPT it's not.
    Best schools in the world!!! EXCEPT they're not.
    Best opportunities in the world!!! EXCEPT they're not.
    Best economy in the world!!! EXCEPT it's not.
    Best government in the world!!! EXCEPT it's not.
    etc etc etc
    Most deluded people in the world.

    What...you thought there was another exception?
    ____________
    This right here just proves you are NOT an American sniffy, LEAVE OUR COUNTRY if you think it is so bad!!!

    January 29, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Sniffit

    "None of those have anything to do with the definition of American Exceptionalism and you know it"

    Sure they do. Nationalism is the precursor to fascism...it's the horse it rides in on. The GOP/Teatrolls' constant riling of their idiot base with (a) the delusion that America is better at everything than every other nation while (b) continuously using "American Exceptionalism" bumper sticker rhetoric as their launchpad for attacking the patriotism, willingness to defend the country and the "American-ness" of the Dems and our POTUS. Addressing just how unexceptional we are at almost everything is directly on point. Unfounded nationalistic beliefs that "we're da best" is foolishness and is partly how the GOP/Teatrolls drive their status quo agenda that has led us down the primrose path to plutocracy. We're not "da best." In fact, the massive shifting of wealth to a tiny portion of the population over the past several decades and the "starve the beast" "trickle down" fairy tale fiscal agenda of the GOP have allowed our infrastructure, industry and economy to massively decay.

    January 29, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. Me

    Wake up People!

    Liberals, democrats, progressives or whatever you want to call us, do not hate the military, and we do support and respect our troops. I get so sick of the apparently psychic RWNJ's that post here questioning our patriotism.
    ____________
    How does it feel? Now you know how it feels when your kind blindly says republicans hate the poor, middle class, etc! Taste of your own medicine! And it is true regardless, liberals want to defund the military and do away with it, actions speak louder than words!

    January 29, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. yolanda

    @Tom I, I totally agree. Thank you for putting it out there. The service men and women deserve better than what we as a country and government are providing them.

    January 29, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. Sniffit

    "the absolute shame and crime it is that this man has been on TEN deployments. And for what?"

    There is ALOT of lithium in Afghanistan. Oh, and the GOP/Teatrolls needed a new bogeyman since "Saint Reagan singlehandedly dismantled the USSR and communism." Nothing works like fear of a bogeyman to help increase spending on the military industrial complex for use in securing corporate interests in other country's resources and giving the public a distraction and a focus for their fears, angers and hatreds.

    January 29, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. Sniffit

    "The oddest thing of your response is that your answer to almost everything that is wrong with America is to infuse the govt to help. "

    Really? You think Amurika just magically would've made the progress it did without the gov't being deeply involved throughout the entire history of the country? That's not just odd; it's delusional.

    January 29, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. The REAL Truth...

    @Harold Read – To bad the Obama hates the military. Did he step in to prevent veterans benefits from being eliminated? Nope, but he let programs helping criminal immigrants stay funded.
    Did he allow veterans visit their memorials during the 2013 Obama Govenment Shutdown?
    --------------------------------–
    Harry.. get a grip pls, and an education. Veterans Benefits extensions were shut down by the House GOP, not Obama. You should know that the POTUS has no control over those budget items.. that is the job of the House budget..
    And of course, Obama personally marched down and stopped the staged rw media-circus "Vets" and Failin Palin from visiting the memorial during the Federal shutdown the GOP caused..

    January 29, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    @Rudy
    "I did more than Mitt Romney. I paid my fair share of taxes"
    =========

    Wow, man. This is why people on here say you make things up. Your comment is a complete non-sequiter. Why not mention Sarah Palin while you're at it? You have no proof of what Romney paid or did not pay in taxes. Is the IRS after him?
    ----------------------------------------–
    Romney paid 14% in taxes, about half of what I paid. Furthermore, Romney's documentation indicated that he had left numerous deductions unclaimed, which would have brought his net rate to well under 10%. Deductions that he could have easily have claimed the following year on a revised tax return, one which he refused to make public, BTW.

    Look at what I was responding to. I was replying to complete and utter nonsense. Bait. I responded in kind.

    January 29, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Tommy G

    Sniffit
    -–
    "the absolute shame and crime it is that this man has been on TEN deployments. And for what?"
    -–
    There is ALOT of lithium in Afghanistan. Oh, and the GOP/Teatrolls needed a new bogeyman since "Saint Reagan singlehandedly dismantled the USSR and communism." Nothing works like fear of a bogeyman to help increase spending on the military industrial complex for use in securing corporate interests in other country's resources and giving the public a distraction and a focus for their fears, angers and hatreds
    -–

    Wow... so now extremist muslim terrorists and Al Quada are just the 'boogeyman" huh??? Maybe you should tell this to the families of the thousands that died on 9/11? Thanks for letting the rest of us know just how serious the far left Democrats take the threat. I guess to you clueless clowns it is all just work place violence just like Ft. Hood.

    January 29, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Donna

    Sniffit
    -–
    "None of those have anything to do with the definition of American Exceptionalism and you know it"
    -–
    Sure they do. Nationalism is the precursor to fascism...it's the horse it rides in on.
    -–

    Socialism is the precursor to fascism and communism. It is the horse it rides in on. And remember you didn't build that. There is no such thing as personal accomplishment, just hive accomplishment.

    January 29, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    @Me
    Wake up People!

    Liberals, democrats, progressives or whatever you want to call us, do not hate the military, and we do support and respect our troops. I get so sick of the apparently psychic RWNJ's that post here questioning our patriotism.
    ____________
    How does it feel? Now you know how it feels when your kind blindly says republicans hate the poor, middle class, etc! Taste of your own medicine! And it is true regardless, liberals want to defund the military and do away with it, actions speak louder than words!
    ------
    As a progressive, I want to de-fund any future adventurism based on lies where 1000's of people died, like Bush's Iraq. Proper, measured, intelligent use of the military as Obama has done is the mark of a civilized country. Obama has given no indication that he wants to do away with the military. But I do like it when conservative conspiracy theories surface with no basis in fact, because it reveals how far the crazy goes. You have scared more voters to the left – thanks.

    January 29, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. tom l

    @Sniffit,
    "None of those have anything to do with the definition of American Exceptionalism and you know it"

    Sure they do. Nationalism is the precursor to fascism...it's the horse it rides in on. The GOP/Teatrolls' constant riling of their idiot base with (a) the delusion that America is better at everything than every other nation while (b) continuously using "American Exceptionalism" bumper sticker rhetoric as their launchpad for attacking the patriotism, willingness to defend the country and the "American-ness" of the Dems and our POTUS. Addressing just how unexceptional we are at almost everything is directly on point. Unfounded nationalistic beliefs that "we're da best" is foolishness and is partly how the GOP/Teatrolls drive their status quo agenda that has led us down the primrose path to plutocracy. We're not "da best." In fact, the massive shifting of wealth to a tiny portion of the population over the past several decades and the "starve the beast" "trickle down" fairy tale fiscal agenda of the GOP have allowed our infrastructure, industry and economy to massively decay."
    ====

    Soooooo, you in your diatribe of this awful country we call the United States of America you still have demonstrated that you don't know what American Exceptionalism is nor its true definition. But kudos to you for showing your disdain towards the U.S. and your true feelings. You have just decided to make up what you think "American Exceptionalism" is supposed to mean rather than what its definition is. Congrats.

    January 29, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. tom l

    Sniffit

    "the absolute shame and crime it is that this man has been on TEN deployments. And for what?"

    There is ALOT of lithium in Afghanistan. Oh, and the GOP/Teatrolls needed a new bogeyman since "Saint Reagan singlehandedly dismantled the USSR and communism." Nothing works like fear of a bogeyman to help increase spending on the military industrial complex for use in securing corporate interests in other country's resources and giving the public a distraction and a focus for their fears, angers and hatreds.
    =====

    But the man you support so much in office said this was the "right war". Or am I wrong about that? And isn't he the one that still has our troops there? Isn't he the one that increased troop levels to find lithium in Afghanistan? Yep, that man I speak of President Obama. And in your response he is oddly not mentioned (sarcasm).

    January 29, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Silence DoGood

    @Sniffit
    "None of those have anything to do with the definition of American Exceptionalism and you know it"

    Sure they do. Nationalism is the precursor to fascism...it's the horse it rides in on. The GOP/Teatrolls' constant riling of their idiot base with (a) the delusion that America is better at everything than every other nation while (b) continuously using "American Exceptionalism" bumper sticker rhetoric as their launchpad for attacking the patriotism, willingness to defend the country and the "American-ness" of the Dems and our POTUS. Addressing just how unexceptional we are at almost everything is directly on point. Unfounded nationalistic beliefs that "we're da best" is foolishness and is partly how the GOP/Teatrolls drive their status quo agenda that has led us down the primrose path to plutocracy. We're not "da best." In fact, the massive shifting of wealth to a tiny portion of the population over the past several decades and the "starve the beast" "trickle down" fairy tale fiscal agenda of the GOP have allowed our infrastructure, industry and economy to massively decay.
    ----------
    Brilliant warning – thanks. When you think TeaParty, think blind Nationalism mixed with a dose of Religious zeitgeist and you have the start of a scary transformation that is the opposite of our constitution and not our founders wishes. We need to be watchful with these smooth talking snake-oil salesmen.

    January 29, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    tom l wrote:

    The fact of the matter is that Repubilcans demanded that refunding sequestered items in the budget would require that something else had to be cut. Democrats held Republicans' feet to the fire. Republicans wanted to restore Defense spending, and so they made the cuts to veterans' benefits in order to avoid looking like hypocrites.
    ========

    The Real TP made a great comment one day. For repubs to say that dems hate the military is foolish and ridiculous. It is also EQUALLY ridiculous for dems to say that repubs hate the military. It just shows how blinded by partisanship. The word demagogue comes to mind.
    ---------------------------
    What really amazing is how you've tried to twist reciting of facts into a charge against Republicans. I never said anything of the sort tom. It's you again, manufacturing an argument that you feel that you can win. Go chase your own tail.

    January 29, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. tom l

    @Silencce,
    Lol. You guys really have no idea what the TEA Party is nor what it stands for. But please proceed with your condescending, inaccurate and hateful rhetoric against a group of Americans that have a different view from yours. Thanks for scaring more people away from the extremist viewpoints that you on the hardcore left possess. xoxo

    January 29, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. Silence DoGood

    tom l
    @Sniffit,
    "None of those have anything to do with the definition of American Exceptionalism and you know it"

    Sure they do. Nationalism is the precursor to fascism...it's the horse it rides in on. The GOP/Teatrolls' constant riling of their idiot base with (a) the delusion that America is better at everything than every other nation while (b) continuously using "American Exceptionalism" bumper sticker rhetoric as their launchpad for attacking the patriotism, willingness to defend the country and the "American-ness" of the Dems and our POTUS. Addressing just how unexceptional we are at almost everything is directly on point. Unfounded nationalistic beliefs that "we're da best" is foolishness and is partly how the GOP/Teatrolls drive their status quo agenda that has led us down the primrose path to plutocracy. We're not "da best." In fact, the massive shifting of wealth to a tiny portion of the population over the past several decades and the "starve the beast" "trickle down" fairy tale fiscal agenda of the GOP have allowed our infrastructure, industry and economy to massively decay."
    ====

    Soooooo, you in your diatribe of this awful country we call the United States of America you still have demonstrated that you don't know what American Exceptionalism is nor its true definition. But kudos to you for showing your disdain towards the U.S. and your true feelings. You have just decided to make up what you think "American Exceptionalism" is supposed to mean rather than what its definition is. Congrats.
    --------
    I think Sniffit knows what it means as do I. But conservatives on the extreme right have re-used and abused this term along with freedom of religion, the constitution, and anything else that plays well among their nodding head worshipers. This country is exceptional because it is designed to progress forward, not be pulled back into an imaginary world that never existed.

    January 29, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. tom l

    @Rudy
    "I did more than Mitt Romney. I paid my fair share of taxes"
    =========

    Wow, man. This is why people on here say you make things up. Your comment is a complete non-sequiter. Why not mention Sarah Palin while you're at it? You have no proof of what Romney paid or did not pay in taxes. Is the IRS after him?
    --------------–
    Romney paid 14% in taxes, about half of what I paid. Furthermore, Romney's documentation indicated that he had left numerous deductions unclaimed, which would have brought his net rate to well under 10%. Deductions that he could have easily have claimed the following year on a revised tax return, one which he refused to make public, BTW.

    Look at what I was responding to. I was replying to complete and utter nonsense. Bait. I responded in kind.
    =======

    Wait a minute here. So. Many. Responses.

    First, you accuse him of not paying his "fair share" yet he paid 14% of his income which I would guess would amount to a far greater amount than either you or I paid combined.
    Second, he willingly did NOT take deductions that he could have so he actually paid more than his fair share. He didn't make the rules but you have proven that he sure as heck did abide by the rules
    Third, why should he show his tax returns? He paid what he legally should have (actually way, way more) and you whine and kvetch. Is the IRS investigating him for unpaid taxes? No. Nice strawman argument. Kudos to you.

    Your entire statement makes no sense and you should actually be commending the man for not only paying way more money into the system than either you or I but the fact that he did so when he could have paid less legally.

    January 29, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. J Cline

    As a current servicemember with 20 years on active duty, watching this on TV made my gorge rise.

    Believe me, if Pres. Obama or anyone in Congress gave an authentic care about us, they'd have brought us out of Iraq and Afghanistan years ago – and they wouldn't just have voted for cuts to our dearly-earned retirement benefits.

    People love to talk. Write a check. You break us, you buy us. Next time, think twice before sending us on multi-trillion dollar crusades that never stop costing this country money until the last veteran (correction: the last veteran's surviving, non-remarried spouse) passes away.

    January 29, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "But the man you support so much in office said this was the "right war". "

    Tom, for real, I've posted so many times on this site that I don't agree with Obama on everything and included reference to his continuation of some of Bush's wartime policies when I've done. Your constant attempts to try to paint me as blindly supportive of Obama are lame. As I've said before, I'm far more concerned with opposing the GOP/Teatrolls and ridiculing and stopping their nonsense policies than I am with explicitly supporting Dems or Obama. The conservative nonsense needs to stop and if that means I have to choose an incremental path via the alternative that's fine. I'll gladly turn to whipping the Dems into submission after we're done tearing down the more immediate threat.

    January 29, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    tom l wrote:

    So, one more time, I will give you the true definition of "American Exceptionalism" and perhaps you will be honest enough when you respond to someone. American Excpetionalism is the thought/theory that we are the only country in the world where anyone can be anything. You can start with nothing, or very little, and still be successful and have a wonderful life. We need look no further than our president as proof that American Exceptionalism is alive and well.
    -------------------------
    That's all fine and dandy if you're not a minority in this country. Rand Paul says that he would repeal the Civil Rights Act because he thinks that business owners have a right to turn people away at the door. He feels that bigotry is a form of speech, and suppressing it is unconstitutional. His words, not mine. Barack Obama would have never become President without the passage of the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act. Those are also his words, not mine.

    January 29, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "Soooooo, you in your diatribe of this awful country we call the United States of America....."

    Yawn. Our country is great in many ways, but it's not "exceptional," not even in your ridiculous semantic games insisting that you get to define it for everyone else. Moreover, it clearly is interpreted and constantly used as GOP/Teatroll code for "we da best." That's what an exception is, tom...it stands apart and alone and unique from the rest, and it is used repeatedly in contemporary politics to imply superiority. But even your attempted definition fails on just a "uniqueness" score. The ability to become anything you want is not a trait unique to this country. In fact, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands rank above the US in upward mobility and there are plenty of countries that provide the opportunity to "be anything you want if you just work hard blah blah something something." The belief that there isn't is ridiculous, contrary to the facts and reality and is just a way of stirring nationalistic fervor.

    BTW, love the way you guys immediately attack, with said nationalistic fervor, the American-ness of anyone who is willing to acknowledge that we're not "numbah 1!!!!!" in everything and deliberately inflate that acknowledgment into the accusation that I'm saying that the country is terrible and awful and that I hate it. You guys are RIDICULOUS.

    January 29, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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