First lady Michelle Obama (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Wallace’s longtime partner Kathy Knopf attended Wallace’s promotion ceremony in December and participated in the “pinning on” of Wallace’s rank — the first such event reported following the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell.”

Wallace, an air force intelligence officer who has led airlift and intelligence operations during a variety of conflicts, including the Iraq War, is training to deploy to Afghanistan in the spring.

Obama also invited another Virginian — Amber Morris of Virginia Beach — to sit in the box.

Morris responded to the White House’s call in December asking Americans “What does $40 mean to you?” by saying, “Forty dollars a pay check means that I'll be able to pay my bills, but most months it'll be a tight squeeze. It means that I'll have no spending money which means I can't do my part in encouraging my local economy.  Forty dollars a paycheck may not seem a lot, but it could mean a steady job for me and my coworkers or unemployment.” 

Morris, who graduated from law school in 2008, found herself unable to find a job. She was working for a non-profit in Boston, but after the organization lost funding, she was unemployed in 2009 and forced to move back home with her parents. She’s since found work as a waitress.