Call it the opportunity of a lifetime. 

Tuesday night, we introduced you to an Erie man who was invited to be a guest at the State of the Union.

We spoke to him before the big event and Wednesday, we heard what is was like actually sitting in the House chambers in front of the President of the United States. 

Just moments after landing at the Erie International Airport, Mark Gusek recalled what will likely be one of the most memorable moments of his life.  

“It is very impressive when they announce the president is coming in and everybody quiets down and he walks in,” said Mark Gusek, president & CEO of Lutheran Foundation for Long Term Living. 

Gusek was invited to attend the State of the Union Address with his longtime friend, Congressman Glenn Thompson, giving him a front-row seat to the unity.

“I think we’ve all seen it on television before, but when you were there in person, it even looks more childish,” Gusek said.

“It’s a little disappointing to see the ‘tit-for-tat’ going on in there and everybody bating each other, and frankly, everybody taking the bait,” he explained.

But despite the usual D.C. partisan politics, Gusek said it was amazing to be in the room with the most powerful leaders in our country.

“Every secretary, joint chiefs of staff, Supreme Court — it’s pretty impressive. It’s pretty inspiring to be there and to be able to sit there with all those folks that all deserve a lot of respect.”