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Published January 20, 2014, 08:20 PM

Senator Heidi Heitkamp's choose Master Sgt. Eric Marts as guest for "State of the Union" Address

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When President Obama addresses the nation next week, a Fargo-Moorhead cheerleader for area veterans will be a guest in the audience.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When President Obama addresses the nation next week, a Fargo-Moorhead cheerleader for area veterans will be a guest in the audience.

US Senator Heidi Heitkamp has asked Master Sgt. Eric Marts to be her guest at the "State of the Union" address, Tuesday.

Marts is thrilled with the invite and prepared to take his message of "supporting veterans" to the nation’s capital.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp could choose anyone to be her guest at President Obama's State of the Union next week. This year, it's Eric Marts, and she says, for good reason.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp/North Dakota: “Anyone who has met Eric is inspired by him and it doesn't take a soldier who has lived that experience to feel that inspiration there are two reasons, that seat should be reserved for someone who fought. So that the President of this country could make a speech to the nation, and those soldiers who have given so much like Eric.”

Eric returned from Iraq with injuries suffered in a roadside bomb explosion. The result was his loss of sight.

But since then, he and his companion Deacon have taken obstacle, removed it, and in the last couple of years, become a champion for veterans.

Hosting a weekly show here, Heroes of the Heartland.

Msg Eric Marts/State of the Union Guest: “I have spent my lifetime taking care of soldiers, accomplishing the mission and looking out for our troops safety and I thought I can't let that go and I found a different way to do it, if the military does not want me anymore I can still help them.”

And it is for that reason, Heitkamp says, that Marts will be her honored guest at the State of the Union.

Heitkamp: “The honor is all mine, all mine and I am so honored Eric accepted the invitation.”

Heitkamp says she is so impressed with Marts' perseverance and determination, she is asking leaders and policy makers with veterans issues to meet with him next week in Washington.

The State of the Union Address is set for 8:00 next Tuesday night, here on WDAY.

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