Daniel Hernandez Jr., the openly gay congressional intern who rushed to the aid of his boss, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), when a shooting rampage erupted around them in Tucson, Ariz., two weeks ago, has been invited to attend the State of the Union address.
The White House confirmed that Hernandez, 20, will sit with First Lady Michelle Obama during Tuesday’s address before a joint session of the United States Congress.
“I’m both honored and excited to have the opportunity to travel to our nation’s Capitol for a once in a lifetime event,” Hernandez told ABC News.
“Also the chance to bring my father along for his first trip to Washington, D.C. The State of the Union is a pivotal moment because it is our opportunity to find where we are and where we will be going as a nation in this upcoming year,” he said.
Hernandez was volunteering at Giffords’ “Congress On Your Corner” event on Jan. 8 when Jared Loughner opened fire in an attempt to assassinate U.S. Congresswoman.
While waiting for emergency responders, Hernandez applied pressure to the gunshot wound on Giffords’ forehead, and made sure that she did not choke on her blood. His actions have been credited with saving Giffords’ life.
The attack left 6 dead, including a federal judge, and 14 others injured.
Hernandez, who will turn 21 on Tuesday, will be accompanied to the State of the Union by his father, Daniel Hernandez, Sr.