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Guest List for the First Lady's Box

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The White House
Monday, January 28, 2008; 10:27 AM

Mrs. Laura Bush

Barbara Bush

This Story

Jenna Bush

Mrs. Lynne Cheney

Lori Ball, Homemaker (Brookville, Indiana):

Lori Ball is a stay-at-home mom of four children, two of whom still live with her in Brookville, Indiana. In 2005, her husband, Carey Ball, had back surgery and was out of work for six months recovering. Shortly after, Mr. Ball lost his job as his company was downsizing, and the Balls began to fall behind on their house payments. Creditors began to call frequently, and Mrs. Ball and her husband did not know where to turn. Carey and Lori Ball then received in the mail an information package from their mortgage provider, Wells Fargo, and from HOPE NOW, an alliance of counselors, servicers, investors, and other mortgage market participants whose aim is to help homeowners stay in their homes. In addition, Lori Ball saw President Bush speak on television about the HOPE NOW Alliance. The President communicated to Americans that help could be a phone call away. Mr. Ball called the number, and their family received the help needed to restructure their mortgage and save their home. Mrs. Ball is appreciative for the help the HOPE NOW Alliance provided her family, and she encourages other Americans facing troubles with their mortgage to contact their lender or a credit counselor at 888-995-HOPE.

James "Jim" Barnard, Chief Financial Officer, Barnard Manufacturing (St. John's, Michigan):

Jim Barnard is the Chief Financial Officer of Barnard Manufacturing, a production machine shop located in St. John's, Michigan. Barnard Manufacturing is a family-owned business started out of a garage by Mr. Barnard's father and his uncle. Today, the company has approximately 125 employees and specializes in the manufacture of heavy equipment pivot pins fabricated from bar stock steel, which are primarily used in heavy earthmoving equipment such as bulldozers. As CFO, Mr. Barnard's responsibilities include purchasing. Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and President Bush has continued to be a strong supporter of them. On March 3, 2002, the President signed into law the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act and on May 28, 2003, the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act, both of which make it easier for small businesses to grow, expand, and hire new employees. These two important pieces of legislation lowered the tax burdens on companies like Barnard Manufacturing and helped Barnard invest in new equipment and hire approximately 25 new employees. Recently, the President and the Congress have come to a tentative agreement on an economic growth package. As Mr. Barnard's company continues to expand, it is investing in two new machines and anticipating the business tax provisions of this agreement.

Staff Sergeant Craig Charloux, USA (Bangor, Maine)

Staff Sergeant Craig Charloux was deployed to Diyala Province, Muqdadiyah, Iraq, for 14 months during 2006 ¿ 2007, where he was serving as a Squad Leader in an Armored Reconnaissance Squadron in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In September 2007, Staff Sergeant Charloux led a squad into the town of Baloor, Iraq, and his unit was ambushed. Staff Sergeant Charloux received two grenade blasts, injuring his arm, face, eyes, and leg. Although wounded, he was able to successfully complete the raid, and eight al Qaeda operatives were killed. Staff Sergeant Charloux has received both the Army Commendation Medal and the National Defense Medal twice. Staff Sergeant Charloux returned from Iraq in November 2007, and his entire unit, the 1st Calvary Division, returned from Iraq in January 2008 and is not being replaced.

Former Senator Bob Dole (R, Kan.), Co-Chair, President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors (Russell, Kansas)

In March 2007, President Bush selected former Senator Bob Dole as Co-Chair of the Commission on Care for Wounded Warriors along with former Secretary Donna Shalala of the Department of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton. The President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors conducted a comprehensive review of the care provided to service members returning from the Global War on Terror from the time they leave the battlefield through their return to civilian life. Born in Russell, Kansas, Senator Dole has served his country in several capacities, including as a soldier in World War II, a Representative, a Senator, national chairman of the Republican Party, President Gerald Ford's running mate, and the Republican Party nominee for president in 1996. In 1997, President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also received the American Patriot Award in 2004 for his lifelong dedication to America and his service in World War II.

Blanca Gonáález, Mother of Cuban Political Prisoner; (Miami, Florida)

Blanca Gonzálezis the mother of Normando Hernández González, a political prisoner suffering under the regime of Fidel and Raul Castro. In 2002, Blanca González fled Cuba and applied for political asylum in the United States; she now resides in Miami, Florida with her husband. While in Cuba, she was a human rights activist and was harassed by the Cuban regime. Her son, Normando Hernández González, is a writer and independent journalist and was arrested on March 18, 2003, in his hometown of Camaüüey, Cuba. Normando Hernández González was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment for reporting on the conditions of state-run services in Cuba and for criticizing the government's management of issues such as tourism, agriculture, fishing, and cultural affairs. Heráández received the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award in April 2007, an award that recognizes international literary figures who have been persecuted or imprisoned for exercising or defending the right to freedom of expression. He has also been recognized by the Costa Rican legislature. His health has deteriorated due to a severe, chronic, and untreated gastro-intestinal disorder which causes constant diarrhea, headaches, intermittent fever, and poor gastro-intestinal absorption. He has lost at least 35 pounds. Normando Hernández González remains in prison.

Steve Hadley, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Steve Hewitt, City Administrator, City of Greensburg. Kansas (Greensburg, Kansas)

Steve Hewitt is the City Administrator of Greensburg, Kansas. On the night of May 4, 2007, a Category 5 tornado struck Kiowa County, Kansas, destroying the City of Greensburg, which had a population of approximately 1,300 residents. The tornado was responsible for the death of at least 10 people. Approximately 95 percent of Greensburg, including more than 900 homes, all its businesses, the City Hall, a school, a hospital, and all local infrastructure including the fire department and power plant, were destroyed. On May 9, 2007, President Bush visited the City of Greensburg and pledged assistance from the Federal Government. With the leadership of Administrator Steve Hewitt, the City of Greensburg is making progress. Homes are being rebuilt and repaired, and businesses are coming back to the area. Utilities across the city are now available to all residents with the completion of the new electrical system. The Greensburg City Council has approved all city building projects to have 42-percent less energy consumption when compared to current building code requirements in an effort to make the city an environmentally- friendly town.

First Lieutenant Andrew Kinard, USMC (Spartanburg, South Carolina)

First Lieutenant Andrew Kinard, USMC, graduated from the United States Naval Academy on May 28, 2005. President George W. Bush was the keynote speaker at the commencement address and presented Mr. Kinard with his diploma. On September 11, 2006, First Lieutenant Kinard was deployed to Iraq with the 2nd Marine Division's 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. Two months into his tour, First Lieutenant Kinard was on patrol in Iraq and was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). He lost both of his legs, one above the knee and the other at the hip, and caused several other internal and external injuries. First Lieutenant Kinard was flown to Al Asad, Iraq, then to Germany and then to Bethesda, Maryland, to be treated. The President visited First Lieutenant Kinard and other wounded service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on March 30, 2007, and the President saw First Lieutenant Kinard again in Columbia, South Carolina on November 2, 2007. First Lieutenant Kinard, age 25, has served in the Marines for a total of 2 years and 8 months, and he is still on active duty. He is an outpatient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Dr. Bill Krissoff, United States Navy Medical Corps (Carlsbad, California)

Dr. Bill Krissoff was commissioned Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Medical Corps on November 17, 2007, at the age of 61. His decision to apply to the Navy Medical Corps to care for Marines came in response to the death of his oldest son. In December 2006, his son First Lieutenant Nathan Krissoff, USMC, who was serving as a Counterintelligence Officer with the 3rd Recon Battalion in Iraq, was killed in combat. Inspired by his son's commitment and dedication to serving his country, Dr. Krissoff decided to apply himself. Initially told by his recruiter that it was very unlikely that he would qualify because of the age limit, Dr. Krissoff did not give up. During a private meeting with President Bush in Reno, Nevada, Dr. Krissoff asked for assistance on an age waiver for the Navy Medical Corps. The wavier was soon granted so that he could begin the application process. Now commissioned, he is preparing for deployment as an Orthopedist in a Forward Resuscitative Surgical System (FRSS), a Level II combat surgical team treating injured Marines in the field. Dr. Krissoff has closed his private practice, and he and his wife, Christine, have relocated to the San Diego, California area, where he is assigned to the 4th Medical Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group. In addition, the Krissoff's youngest son, Second Lieutenant Austin Krissoff, USMC, is stationed at Camp Pendleton, California.

Tara Kunkel, RN BSN CEN, Community Hospital East (New Palestine, Indiana)

Tara Kunkel is an emergency room nurse in Indianapolis, Indiana. In July 2007, Nurse Kunkel admitted a woman in her 70s into the hospital who was complaining of a heart attack. The woman told Nurse Kunkel she went to the nearest hospital because she had just read an interview with Mrs. Bush in which Mrs. Bush described the signs and symptoms of heart attacks in women, and she was beginning to feel those signs. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, the patient's heart went into a fatal rhythm that without treatment would have killed her. Since this woman knew the symptoms of heart disease, she got herself into the hospital in time to save her life. Nurse Kunkel wrote a letter to Mrs. Bush thanking her for her role in saving this patient's life, and for her continued efforts to educate the public about cardiovascular health for women through her Red Dress Campaign. One in four American women dies of heart disease, killing more women in the United States than all forms of cancer combined. Unfortunately, most women are unaware of their personal risk factors and the signs and symptoms of heart disease.

Senior Airman Diane Lopes, USAF (Danbury, Connecticut)

Senior Airman Diane Lopes entered the Army in August 1991, and later joined the Air Force Reserves in January 2003. In August 2007, Senior Airman Lopes deployed to Iraq, where she worked as a member of a base security force team to provide security from intruders and to patrol the perimeter of the base to detect and prevent breaches in physical security. In September 2007, one month into her duty in Iraq, she was wounded by a rocket attack at Kirkuk Air Force Base, Iraq. She sustained shrapnel and puncture wounds to her right arm and lower body. She was transported to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where she is undergoing outpatient treatment, including physical and occupational therapy. Senior Airman Lopes has been awarded the Purple Heart for the injuries she received during her service at Kirkuk Air Force Base, Iraq.

Irvin Mayfield, Musician (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Irvin Mayfield, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, is a great New Orleans jazz trumpeter legacy. Mr. Mayfield founded the Institute of Jazz Culture at Dillard University, and he leads his own band, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, a non-profit institution which focuses on jazz performances and education. In September 2003, Mr. Mayfield was unanimously appointed cultural ambassador for the City of New Orleans by the United States Congress. Mayfield was among the artists featured at the Lincoln Center's 2005 Higher Ground benefit concert which aided victims of Hurricane Katrina, and he became the recipient of a hand-crafted trumpet created by David Monette of Portland, Oregon. Called the Elysian Trumpet in honor of Irvin's father, whose body was found on Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans months after Hurricane Katrina, the instrument is inlayed with jewels and images of New Orleans and of the hurricane itself.

Dan Meyer, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs

Aviation Survival Technician First Class Willard "Wil" Milam, USCG (Phoenix, Arizona)

Petty Officer Willard "Wil" Milam entered the Coast Guard in 1992, after serving six years in the Navy. Upon completing his first assignment, Petty Officer Milam decided to change career paths and become a rescue swimmer. In 1993, Petty Officer Milam was assigned to Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Oregon, where he served for four years, and he was selected the Coast Guard District Thirteen's Enlisted Person of the Year in 1996. In 1997, Petty Officer Milam transferred to Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska. He is assigned to the Alaska Patrol division and routinely deploys aboard Coast Guard cutters. On February 10, 2007, Petty Officer Milam responded to a distress signal in the Bering Sea. When arriving on location, he located a life raft from a boat that had sunk an hour earlier. Petty Officer Milam deployed into the 40-degree water to rescue four individuals who were mildly hypothermic. Even though Petty Officer Milam began to feel numbness in his legs due to the cold water, he was able to successfully rescue all four survivors in the life raft. Petty Officer Milam's military decorations total nearly 45 awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, three Letters of Commendations, the 2007 Coast Guard Foundation Award for Heroism, and 2007 Captain Frank Erickson Aviation Rescue Award.

Alma Morales Riojas, President and Chief Executive Officer, MANA ¿ A National Latina Organization (Arlington, Virginia)

Alma Morales Riojas has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of MANA ¿ A National Latina Organization since 2000. MANA is the oldest national Latina membership organization in the United States and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with chapters across the country. MANA's mission is to empower Hispanic women through leadership development, community service, and advocacy, as well as to improve the quality of life of all Hispanics. MANA gives young Hispanic women the adult support and the guidance they need to avoid risky behaviors and to set ambitious goals for their lives. Previously, Alma Morales Riojas served as the National Executive Director of Federally Employed Women, Inc., and as the Executive Director of the National Alliance of Veteran and Family Service Organizations. She also worked at the Pentagon and developed the first Affirmative Action and Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Plans for the Offices of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Tara D. Morrison, Superintendent, African Burial Ground National Monument (New York, New York)

Tara Morrison serves as the Superintendent of the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City. She is the first superintendent of the site, which was designated by President George W. Bush in February 2006. Tara Morrison has worked extensively with the African American community and others in New York to make the African Burial Ground's significance known and to promote its continuing relevance to the Nation. Previously, she worked at the Boston African American National Historic Site as a Ranger and Education Specialist, and then she became involved in the Northeast Region's Underground Railroad program. In 2004, she was named the project manager of the African Burial Ground Technical Assistance Project and also served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of the National Park Service. She began her career with the National Park Service as an intern in Washington D.C.

Tatu Msangi, Registered Nurse, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC); Mother; and daughter Faith Mang'ehe (age 2), (Moshi, Tanzania)

Tatu Msangi is a 35-year-old single mother from Tanzania. When Tatu became pregnant, she went to the antenatal clinic at KCMC and discovered she was HIV-positive. Tatu enrolled in a Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) program and delivered a healthy daughter, named Faith. As part of her treatment, Faith received a dose of nevirapine after she was born. She is now over two years old, and she is HIV-free. As part of her work at KCMC, Tatu counsels HIV-positive women and encourages them to participate in the PMTCT program. KCMC is supported by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's (PEPFAR) through the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Tatu and her daughter Faith are examples of the hope and compassion that is transforming lives with support from PEPFAR. PEPFAR, which was announced by President Bush in his 2003 State of the Union Address, is the largest commitment ever by any nation for an international health initiative dedicated to a single disease.

Staff Sergeant Andrew Nichols, USMC (Klamath Falls, Oregon)

Staff Sergeant Andrew Nichols serves as an Infantry Platoon Commander in the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, out of Camp Pendleton, California. He is responsible for the training, welfare, and tactical employment of his Marine Infantry Platoon. Staff Sergeant Nichols has served multiple tours of duties in Iraq. Most recently, he served with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in Al Anbar Province in Iraq in support of the 2007 troop surge. Staff Sergeant Nichols' unit returned on success to the United States on November 17, 2007, and was not replaced by an American unit, after having successfully turned over the tactical control of the area to the 1st Iraqi Army Division.

Michelle Rhee, Chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools (Washington, D.C.)

Michelle Rhee was appointed as Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools by Mayor Adrian Fenty in June 2007. She leads the D.C. public schools, which have 50,000 students. From 1997 ¿ 2006, Michelle Rhee served as Chief Executive Officer and President of The New Teacher Project, a non-profit organization. The New Teacher Project partners with school districts, State departments of education, and other educational entities to enhance their capacity to recruit, select, train, and support outstanding new teachers. Michelle Rhee holds a bachelor's degree in government from Cornell University and a master's degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Donna Shalala, Co-Chair, President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors; former Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (Miami, Florida)

In March 2007, Secretary Shalala was selected by President Bush to Co-Chair the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors, along with former Senator Bob Dole (R, KS). The Commission conducted a comprehensive review of the care provided to service members returning from the Global War on Terror, from the time they leave the battlefield through their return to civilian life. As a former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) appointed by President Clinton in 1993 and serving for eight years, Secretary Shalala provided expertise for the Commission's recommendations. After serving in the Clinton Administration, Secretary Shalala became Professor of Political Science and President of the University of Miami on June 1, 2001. She has more than three dozen honorary degrees and a host of other honors, including being named one of "America's Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in 2005.

Dr. Thomas "Tom" M. Stauffer, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Professor of Management, American University of Afghanistan (Kabul, Afghanistan)

Dr. Tom Stauffer began his leadership of the American University of Afghanistan in December 2006 when he was appointed President, Chief Executive Officer, and Professor of Management. In March 2005, Mrs. Bush visited the site for the American University of Afghanistan and announced a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to launch the institution. One year later, in March 2006, the University's first students began classes to improve their English-language and study skills, and in September 2006 the first undergraduate courses in professional and general studies and adult continuing education programs were offered. Dr. Stauffer oversees the operation of the University, which enrolls approximately 400 students, mainly from Afghanistan; 30 percent are women. Formerly, Dr. Stauffer was president of two U.S. Universities and has experience in business and international affairs. Dr. Stauffer has a Ph.D. and master's degree from the Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver and a bachelor's degree from Wittenberg University, Ohio.

Kevin Sterne, Graduate Student, Virginia Tech (Eighty Four, Pennsylvania)

Kevin Sterne, age 23, and a 2007 undergraduate of Virginia Tech with a double degree in Electrical Engineering and in Media Communications, was in Norris Hall on Virginia Tech's campus on April 16, 2007, when a shooter went on a rampage killing 32 people and then himself. Mr. Sterne was shot twice in the right leg while he was in Room 207, the German class, and he saw several of his classmates killed. Mr. Sterne knew he was bleeding to death, so he fashioned an electrical cord as a tourniquet to stop his wounds from bleeding until the rampage ended and he could be carried to safety by emergency personnel. One of Mr. Sterne's gunshot wounds ruptured his femoral artery, which caused him to lose a substantial amount of blood, but as an Eagle Scout, Mr. Sterne's training and quick thinking helped him save his own life. The photograph of Mr. Sterne being carried by rescue workers with the tourniquet around his wounded leg became a defining image of the worst school shooting in our country's history. Mr. Sterne has returned to Virginia Tech this fall to pursue a master's degree in electrical engineering, and he also works at the school's radio station as the chief engineer for WUVT-FM.

Eric Whitaker, Team Leader, Baghdad 2 Embedded-Provincial Reconstruction Team (E-PRT) (Fairfax, Virginia)

Eric Whitaker is the Team Leader of the Baghdad 2 Embedded-Provincial Reconstruction Team (E-PRT) in Baghdad, Iraq. The E-PRT is an interagency team of eight members (from the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, and Department of Defense) that works from the tactical to the strategic level to help build the capacity of governing institutions in the districts of Karada, Rusafa, and 9 Nissan within Baghdad, Iraq. These three districts all have substantial Shia, Sunni, and Christian populations and include over 2 million of the city's 6 million residents. The E-PRT works with district councils, essential services committees, four public works service districts, and local non-government organizations to foster local governance capacity, economic growth and development, public services and infrastructure, and community reconciliation. The E-PRT is located at Forward Operating Base Loyalty, where it is embedded with the (4th) 2nd Brigade Combat Team, (10th Mountain) 2nd Infantry Division of the United States Army. As a Foreign Service Officer, he has served in Seoul, South Korea; Khartoum, Sudan; Kampala, Uganda; Zagreb, Croatia; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Bamako, Mali; Maputo, Mozambique; and Princeton University as a Weinberg Fellow. Like Eric Whitaker, his spouse, Jonita Whitaker is also a Foreign Service Officer, who is in senior training at the National Defense University.


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