"It is such an honor to be invited by President Trump to attend The State of the Union Address. I am humbled to have been chosen to represent the great state of Louisiana and the diverse group of volunteers that freely gave their time and resources to save 1000's of lives during the recent historic floods."
President Donald Trump invited Cajun Navy Founder Jon Bridgers to attend the State of the Union Address on Tuesday night. Mr. Trump applauded the rescue efforts of the south Louisiana volunteers who leapt into action when natural disasters struck the region.
The Cajun Navy was vital in its response to the 1,000-year flood that devastated south Louisiana in August of 2016. The unofficial volunteer network of civilian boat owners assisted in search and rescue efforts following the historic flood in Louisiana and Hurricane Harvey in Texas. The Cajun Navy continues to collect resources and donations for those who lost their homes during the storms.
Bridgers expressed his gratitude for the invitation in a Facebook post saying, "It is such an honor to be invited by President Trump to attend The State of the Union Address. I am humbled to have been chosen to represent the great state of Louisiana and the diverse group of volunteers that freely gave their time and resources to save 1000’s of lives during the recent historic floods."
When speaking about the challenges the country has faced in the past year, from devastating wildfires to historic floods, the President said that while we have shared the pains of hardship, we have also shared the heights of victory as well.
"Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be," said Mr. Trump. "We saw the volunteers of the Cajun Navy, racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a totally devastating hurricane."
The President went on to say that the sense of community and empowerment that followed the tragedies of the past year will remain as cities around the country continue to rebuild.
"To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands — everywhere — we are with you, we love you, and we always will pull through together, always," said Mr. Trump.
Louisiana's congressional delegation applauded the President's decision to invite the man behind the massive rescue effort in response to both the 2016 Louisiana flood and Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
“The Cajun Navy honored the biblical command to ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you,’” said U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy. “When floodwaters overwhelmed Louisiana in 2016 and Texas after Hurricane Harvey, the Cajun Navy, using their own boats and supplies, rescued fellow Americans in danger. I thank President Trump for recognizing these heroes.”
“Louisiana’s Cajun Navy shows us what’s possible when people from varied backgrounds come together, pool their talents and resources and work as one to serve their neighbors, friends and families in needs. Their efforts and ongoing commitment to hurting communities in Louisiana and Texas represent the best of all us, and I’m hopeful this recognition will help remind us all that our bond as Americans first is stronger than any of the differences that often separate,” said Congressman Garret Graves.
Follow Halen on Twitter: @LikeVanHalen