Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman and his friend, bombing hero Carlos Arredondo, will be guests of the first lady at Tuesday evening's State of the Union address in the nation's capitol.
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The pair will sit in the presidential box with First Lady Michelle Obama in the chamber of the House of Representatives, an area known for highlighting people and issues during the president’s annual speech that are important to the administration.
As he packed for the journey Monday, Arredondo described his excitement at getting the unexpected invitation.
"Oh my goodness, I was in a state of shock, literally. Because, my God, this is something very serious. I thought, this is just amazing," Arredondo said.
"I'm going to be thinking of the victims and their families, and of the survivors as well as the many first responders who did amazing work that day."
Bauman, 27, lost both of his legs during the April terror attack, which killed three and injured hundreds more. Following the blasts, Arredondo, 53, dashed to Bauman's side to administer first aid.
An iconic photograph captured at the scene shows Arredondo, now known as the Cowboy Hat Hero, rushing Bauman away from the blast site.
The duo has formed a close friendship in the last year, and have appeared together at notable events.
Other guests in the first lady’s box will include Gary Bird, the firefighter who led the rescue response during an Oklahoma tornado, and basketball player Jason Collins, who announced he was gay in a Sports Illustrated story.