Pinehurst Green Beret attending President Trump's State of Union address

Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal, of Pinehurst, is expected to attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), who represents Fort Bragg and Moore County, announced he is bringing Stayskal as his guest Tuesday.

Stayskal recently won his year-long battle for military medical malpractice reform.

The U.S. House passed the bipartisan conference report for the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in December which included a provision Hudson led to allow service members recourse in Department of Defense medical malpractice.

Earlier last year, Hudson introduced the Sergeant First Class Richard Stayskal Military Medical Accountability Act of 2019, a bill named after the Pinehurst resident and veteran. The NDAA includes a provision he helped secure based on this legislation to allow service members to seek compensation for medical malpractice unrelated to their military duties and caused by a Department of Defense health care provider.

In January 2017, Stayskal underwent a routine CT scan performed as part of a required physical necessary before entering dive school in the Army. After his exam, Stayskal was cleared by a military doctor at Womack Medical Center, located at Fort Bragg, to enter dive school.

Just a few months later, Stayskal began to experience physical symptoms which included difficulty breathing and coughing up blood. His attempts to seek medical treatment at Womack were not expedited, and at one point, several months after his initial CT scan was done, Stayskal was told he had pneumonia.

It wasn’t until June of 2017 that Stayskal was finally given clearance to see a civilian doctor. After an exam and biopsy, the diagnosis came back for stage 3A lung cancer.

According to Stayskal, six months earlier, the military physician who first gave him clearance to enter dive school, did not disclose to the Pinehurst resident a sizable mass on his lung that was visible in the routine CT scan Stayskal underwent in January 2017.

According to the Stayskal, a mass was noted in his medical record at the time and had grown substantially by the time it was detected by a civilian doctor—six months later.

Hudson is honored to bring Stayskal to President Trump’s speech.

“The bipartisan reforms we got in the NDAA wouldn’t have been possible without Rich,” said Hudson. “I’m honored to have him as my guest to President Trump’s State of the Union to highlight this historic story of bipartisanship and, of course, SFC Stayskal stepping up to fight for what’s right for all of America’s men and women in uniform and their families.”

The State of the Union address will begin at 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

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