WASHINGTON, DC (WAFB) - A Livingston Parish man will be among the guests at President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Jon Bridgers founded the Cajun Navy 2016, a non-profit rescue and recovery organization that responded to the 2016 flooding in south Louisiana. Last year, the Cajun Navy 2016 also provided aid to victims in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey. Bridgers and the Cajun Navy 2016 have helped thousands of people across the south, and to this day, they are still helping collect resources and donations for those who lost their homes in the storms.
"It's an honor to be up here in D.C. being invited by President Trump," said Bridgers.
A convoy of about 800 boats packed with water, diapers, and other dry goods went to Texas to help out. The stories of their rescues went nationwide. In fact, when they returned, Trump made it a point to meet members of the Cajun Navy to personally thank them.
"Everybody did a wonderful job and we're getting recognition for that right now. Cajun Navy is an awesome movement and I hope we inspire the nation and also the world for people around the world to do the same and follow our footprints," said Bridgers.
Congressman Garret Graves was an important part of getting the Cajun Navy to Texas without any problems. "I think what the Cajun Navy did in Texas, that is community members helping community members. People coming together. It did not cost government anything. It was such an awesome relief for those hurricane victims," said Graves.
Bridgers is already getting a taste of being around the White House and will get to meet the president and first lady again Tuesday night in a very special seat. "It's an honor to be representing Louisiana and Cajun Navy as a whole to be here to speak for us and make a presence in Washington, D.C. for all the great work we accomplished," said Bridgers.
"There's no secret that Louisiana, many times when we get referenced on a national scale, it has to do with being 49th or 50th in reference to something, but there's no doubt in my mind, when it comes to community members coming together like this, we're number one," said Graves.
Bridgers is representing not only the Cajun Navy, but all branches that have stepped up and helped not only their fellow Louisianians, but our neighbors in Texas as well.
"The results seen by the Cajun Navy 2016's efforts to help those in need are an example of what can be accomplished when you don't have stacks of governmental red tape to cut through," said Senator John Kennedy. "What the Navy was able to get done in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is simply incredible. I cannot think of a better way to honor this group than by inviting its founder, Jon Bridgers, to the State of the Union."
Bridgers is among several guests Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee described as heroic, patriotic, and tragic. The White House says they represent an unbreakable American spirit that will inspire our nation to grow stronger. Other guests include a welder from Ohio that benefitted from tax reform, as well as parents whose teenagers were believed to have been killed by MS-13 gang members.