NEW BRITAIN - U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy is bringing Caroline Johnson to President Donald Trumpâ€™s State of the Union address Jan. 30 as his guest.
She is the widow of Scott Johnson, a New Britain firefighter and member of the U.S. Coast Guard who died at 43 last August of colorectal cancer.
â€śScott is a real local hero. He dedicated his entire life to protecting us in the Coast Guard and through his work as a firefighter,â€ť Murphy said Wednesday. â€śIt just felt right to bring the story of a family of heroes down to Washington.â€ť
Murphy said he recently had a friend die of colorectal cancer.
â€śHe was 40 years old. There has been a dramatic rise in the number of young men being diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer and more research is desperately needed to figure out whatâ€™s going on so that we can address this spike,â€ť Murphy said.
Murphy and his office have been working with Caroline Johnson since her husband died.
â€śIâ€™m proud and honored to join Senator Chris Murphy at the State of the Union to tell Scottâ€™s story and be a voice for him and so many other families,â€ť Caroline Johnson said.
Scott Johnson was on active duty for eight years before joining the Coast Guard Reserve. He worked in the Coast Guard Academyâ€™s Department of Engineering.
The New Britain resident was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2015, affecting his firefighter and Coast Guard duties. After his diagnosis and retirement from the service, Johnsonâ€™s peers at the Coast Guard fought to bring the retirement ceremony to the cityâ€™s Fire Department Station 1 in August. Johnson died a week later.
â€śI still do not fully understand why Scott was taken so young, and I never will. The men and women who fight this disease need an advocate for the importance of earlier screening and detection and research for a cure, and I am not one to back down from that challenge,â€ť Caroline Johnson said. â€śItâ€™s difficult for my three sons to understand right now, but as they get older, I hope that they will realize that not only was their father a hero to us and to those who knew and loved him, but also to the men and woman whose lives we can save because of his story.â€ť
Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 30.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.