When President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address tonight, the father of a local war casualty will be in the audience.


Les Kuglics, 53, father of Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Kuglics, 25, of Green, who was killed in Iraq in 2007, was invited to the event by U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Copley Township.


“As we welcome home our service members who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is also important to recognize those who have given their lives in service and the families that must endure in the face of such a great loss,” Sutton said in a news release.


Kuglics, who works for Ultimate Jet Charters, said he was honored to have been invited and feels he is representing his son.


“It is kind of like Matthew might be behind this. He is making his dad step out of the box and make him do something he has never done before,” Kuglics said.


Several Akron-area sites will host watch parties from 8 to 10:30 p.m.:


•?Kent State University Student Center, 800 E. Summit St.


•?Downtown Canton, 221 Market Ave. N.


•?Medina, home of Judy Cross, a state representative candidate, 770 Lindenwood Lane.