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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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January 29th, 2014
05:40 PM ET

National spotlight for wounded hero Cory Remsburg

(CNN) - Army Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg last night received the longest and loudest standing ovation during the President's State of the Union address in the House chamber.

He captivated the room. He brought the nation's leaders to their feet, moving some to tears. And he did it without saying a word.

"Cory is here tonight. And like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg never gives up, and he does not quit. Cory!" Obama said, drawing everyone's attention to the guest of honor seated in a balcony high above the chamber.

The 30-year-old from Arizona was deployed to fight for the United States ten times, serving his last tour in Kandahar.

"On his tenth deployment, Cory was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in Afghanistan. His comrades found him in a canal, face down, underwater, shrapnel in his brain," Obama said.

That was in 2009. After months in a coma, and years in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, the Army Ranger was finally able to return to Arizona last April.

How did it feel to be home?

"Unbelievable," Cory told CNN affiliate KNXV slowly, but loudly, as friends and family around him erupted in cheers.

"He's working hard to try to find that independence. And that's what we're here to do. Help him find that," Cory's father Craig Remsburg told KNXV.

His father Craig and stepmother Annie have been supporting him throughout his recovery, holding him up physically and emotionally as the country recognizes his sacrifice.

"We are the blessed ones. We were the ones that got our son back," said Annie Remsburg.

The commander-in-chief has been supportive of the Army Ranger too, both before his injury, and then at his bedside and rehabilitation sessions after the life-threatening attack.

Remsburg is blind in one eye, and has difficulty moving on his left side, but he is making progress.

"Day by day, he's learned to speak again and stand again and walk again – and he's working toward the day when he can serve his country again," said Obama.

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