At President Donald Trump's address to a joint session of Congress this week, our state lawmakers weren't the only ones representing Southwest Louisiana.
KPLC caught up with Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso right after he got back from the address.
"I was very concerned while I was there because it was our Mardi Gras and I've never missed being here," said Mancuso.
The sheriff was absent for Fat Tuesday in Lake Charles, but he had a good excuse. He was seated just a few yards from President Trump at his address to Congress. Mancuso got an up close look into Washington politics, thanks to an invitation from Representative Clay Higgins, R-Louisiana.
"To be there in person and to watch their facial expressions, and their body posture, and their body language," explained Mancuso, "You really had to be there to experience it. It shows you really how divided we truly are."
While Mancuso may be from a different side of the aisle from President Trump, he agreed unity is something the country needs to work on. He said when Trump honored the wife of a fallen Navy Seal, the tension lifted - if only for a moment.
"That was the moment everybody agreed on something, and I think hopefully if they can just build on that, because we are all Americans," said Mancuso.
Politics aside, it was a trip he'll never forget.
"I'm 53 years old, and felt like a kid. It was a great experience," he said.
This trip was paid for out of pocket by Mancuso. He does have plans to make an official trip in a few weeks for activities at the FBI Training Academy, and to sit down with each of Southwest Louisiana's lawmakers in Washington D.C.
Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.