Palm Springs, Calif. - Retired Air Force Master Sergeant Andrew Walker went to the office of Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz for help processing his long-stalled Veteran's Affairs claim. Getting that difficult issue taken care of - thanks to the help of his representative - was enough. But then, Walker received a surprise phone call inviting him to accompany the congressman to Washington D.C. for the State of the Union address.
"From a position of feeling sad and dejected to one of being elated," Walker said. "It's a total different world from one aspect to the other. I feel great."
Walker has been taking in everything he can during his trip the the nation's capital.
"I am going to learn from this," Walker said. "There's a lot of history there. I love history. Being a military man, history is part of me."
Walker currently works in state law enforcement. He spent 30 years in the military.
"I have participated in every military campaign and activity from 1977 to current, except for the Noriega activity," Walker said. "I was in the Reserve and wasn't called to active duty."
In his three-plus decades of serving the country, this is Walker's first trip to the Capital. To see the state of the union no less.
"We're talking about the leader of the country," Walker said. "We're talking about, when I was in the military, my boss."
Congressman Ruiz says Walker, who lives in Beaumont, represents the best of the 36th district.
"He's given his life to serving our community," Ruiz said. "We've been honored and fortunate to serve him."