News 9/News On 6 has learned that among President Donald Trump’s guests for his State of the Union address will be a mother and son from Stillwater whose husband/father was killed while serving in Iraq.
According to White House officials, Kelli and Gage Hake will be two of 11 special guests joining Trump and first lady Melania Trump for the president’s nationally televised address to Congress.
“From brave military families to hardworking local leaders,” a White House statement read, “this year’s guests come from many walks of life. Each one represents the very best of America and people the world over.”
In the spring of 2008, Kelli Hake was at home with then-1-year-old Gage when she learned that her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Hake, had been killed while serving his second tour of duty in Iraq.
While on patrol, Hake’s fighting vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb that Trump administration officials say was supplied by late Iranian terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani.
Soleimani was killed last month in a U.S. drone strike ordered by the president, who says there was clear evidence of an imminent threat to Americans posed by Soleimani and military elements under his influence.
The action further inflamed tensions between the U.S. and Iran, but supporters of the president, including members of Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation, praised the move, noting that Soleimani had been responsible for hundreds – if not thousands – of American deaths through IED blasts like the one that killed Hake.
This will be Trump’s third State of the Union address.
It comes in the midst of an impeachment trial that is expected formally conclude Wednesday with the president’s acquittal on both articles brought by the House.
Sources said the president will strike an optimistic note in a speech that he’s calling “The Great American Comeback.”
News 9/News On 6 will carry the address in its entirety beginning at 8:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday.