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Former Homeless Veteran Honored by Trump at SOTU

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Amid the intense drama at last night’s State of the Union address were several noteworthy guests of President Donald Trump.

One of them could hardly believe he was there.

Tony Rankins, 55, offers the perfect definition of American redemption.

Once incarcerated, homeless and battling drug addiction, the former U.S. Army soldier built himself back up through a new set of skills in construction trades.

Today he lives and prospers in Cincinnati, Ohio, thrilled to be the president’s guest on Tuesday night.

“It’s an opportunity that just blows me away and means a lot to me,” Rankins told WLWT in Cincinnati. “For the chance to represent guys that are homeless, I’m more than happy to be there.”

Rankins served in Afghanistan but suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and became addicted to drugs upon his return.

According to a White House tweet, Rankins then lost his job and family, served several prison sentences, and ended up living out of his car.

Then Rankins found work with a construction site which trained him in carpentry, painting, brick work and other trades. Those skills gave him access to workforce housing.

Soon thereafter, Rankins became drug-free and reunited with his wife, according to WLWT.

“I would say not to give up. Just keep going because there are people who will help – there are,” Rankins told WLWT.

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