(KATV)-Among the nation's leaders Tuesday at President Obama's State of the Union address, will be one Arkansas woman who worked to change a provision for military families after her husband's death. Miranda Luke, a resident of Greenwood, will be the guest of Sen. Mark Pryor.
Luke's husband, Capt. Samson Luke died at home on Jan. 10, 2010 after a day of training. His family of four children were left with no benefits because of a technicality. During his training, Luke went home to sleep.
"The government could have put him on post, but it was full. Or they could have put him in a hotel room and spent 40 or 50 dollars for expenses and he said look I'll save everybody money and I'll just stay at home," Pryor said.
Because Luke was at home at the time of his death, the Army denied his family benefits because the death did not happen while he was training.
"It just seemed to drag out for months and I got less and less response from the military and just felt like I was fighting on my own," Luke said.
That's when she says Pryor stepped in on her behalf.
"This was someone at the Pentagon trying to pencil whip this family. So we got involved and we got the law fixed," Pryor said.
After several years of fighting to have the provision wording changed so that no other family would have to endure Luke's battle, Pryor decided he wanted to take Luke as his guest to the State of the Union.
"She's been an incredible role model for a lot of people. And I have one state of the union ticket to give away and I just thought, who in Arkansas would really enjoy this who would it be meaningful for and I thought of her," Pryor said.
Luke says she is honored to represent Arkansas.
"I'm a military widow. I'm a mother. I'm Arkansan and I feel like I'd like to represent all of those categories standing in the presence of our law makers and our president," Luke said.