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President Obama mentions Arizona soldier in Democratic convention address

Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg is applauded by first lady Michelle Obama, and others as President Barack Obama acknowledges his during his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Jan. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

PHOENIX — President Barack Obama was all about Hillary Clinton during his address at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, but he also gave Arizona a little love.

Toward the end of his 45-minute speech, Obama alluded to Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, a Phoenix man who was severely wounded while fighting overseas in 2009.

Obama said Americans such as Remsburg displayed qualities that enabled him to keep going when times got hard during his presidency.”

“It’s the courage of the young soldier from Arizona who nearly died on the battlefield in Afghanistan, but who’s learned to speak and walk again and, earlier this year, stepped through the door of the Oval Office on his own power, to salute and shake my hand,” he said.

Remsburg and Obama have met numerous times over the years. A featured guest at the 2014 State of the Union address, the military man was not only named during the president’s speech, but his story was told to the nation.

Obama described the difference between the Remsburg he’d met the first time –“sharp as a tack” — and the wounded warrior his fellow soldiers found face-down in a canal, underwater, with shrapnel in his brain.

“The next time I met him, in the hospital, he couldn’t speak; he could barely move,” Obama said. “Over the years, he’s endured dozens of surgeries and procedures, and hours of grueling rehab every day.”

Remsburg has been awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart and received the longest standing ovation during the speech two years ago.

“Like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg never gives up and he does not quit,” Obama said.

More recently, Obama surprised Remsburg at his new home during a stop in the Phoenix area. The president brought Remsburg several housewarming gifts, including some White House-made beer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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