HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) announced an Army veteran from Connecticut will be his guest at the President’s State of the Union address at the United States Capitol in Washington D.C. on Tuesday evening.

Alex Plitsas helped hundreds of Afghans evacuate as part of the “Digital Dunkirk,” following the United States’ withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Plitsas is from Fairfield and served as the former chairman of the Fairfield Republican Town Committee.

“Alex is a real hero. Eighteen months after the U.S. withdrawal of troops, the images and stories of men, women and children pleading for help and desperately seeking to escape the Taliban continue to haunt me. Alex courageously stepped up in the days that followed to help many Afghan refugees escape the Taliban. Alex’s remarkable leadership, dedication and determination has provided a path out of Afghanistan for many of the most vulnerable and at-risk of our allies and I am honored to host him as my guest for tomorrow’s State of the Union address,” Blumenthal said.

As Sen. Blumenthal’s guest, Plitsas will witness the State of the Union address and accompany him to a Senate dinner, where he can share his experience with senators.

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Since the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Sen. Blumenthal has been heavily involved in efforts to help Americans and Afghan allies leave Afghanistan.

In 2021, Sen. Blumenthal worked alongside volunteers, veterans, journalists and advocates to secure safe passage for planes carrying American citizens, legal permanent residents, interpreters and vulnerable Afghans and their families.

In 2022, Sen. Blumenthal joined a group of lawmakers in introducing the Afghan Adjustment Act. The act would improve the legal status of Afghan refugees as they rebuild their lives in the United States.

Sen. Blumenthal shared that Afghans who were admitted on temporary humanitarian status can only achieve permanent legal status through asylum or the Special Immigrant Visa process, which are currently facing severe backlogs and long processing times.

Sen. Blumenthal authored provisions to expand upon the Special Immigrant Process by broadening eligibility to include groups that worked alongside the American armed services.

This would consist of groups such as the Female Tactical Platoons of Afghanistan and the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command.