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Article updated: 2/13/2013 7:58 AM

Wounded Ill. soldier Durbin's guest for speech

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By Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- A Purple Heart recipient from Illinois will be the guest of Assistant U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Dick Durbin at the State of the Union address.

Sgt. 1st Class Pedro Ortiz-Roman from Chicago will join the Illinois Democrat for President Barack Obama's fifth annual address before Congress.

Ortiz-Roman is a native of Puerto Rico who moved to Chicago as a child and joined the service in 2001. The Army Ranger served seven combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He received the Purple Heart and the Army Commendation Medal with Valor for saving fellow Rangers pinned down by enemy fire in Iraq.

He has since trained commandos in South Africa, Suriname and Panama.

Durbin began hosting wounded soldiers from Illinois in 2005 with Army Maj. Tammy Duckworth, now a member of Congress.

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