THE STATE OF THE UNION : President Praises Wife as Heroine

United Press International

President Reagan singled out his wife, Nancy, as a heroine Monday night at his nationally televised State of the Union address for helping so many young people "say 'no' to drugs."

Reagan, who has made a tradition of singling out "heroes" and "heroines" in the visitors' gallery when addressing a joint session of Congress, picked the First Lady this year for the honor.

"The war against drugs is a war of individual battles, a crusade with many heroes--including America's young people and also someone very special to me," he said in his speech. "She has helped so many of our young people to say 'no' to drugs."

"Nancy," Reagan said, looking up toward her in the family gallery, "much credit belongs to you, and I want to express to you your husband's pride and your country's thanks."

The audience rose as one, the Reagans smiled, the President blew his wife a kiss and, when order was restored, he quipped: "Surprised you, didn't I?"

Mrs. Reagan began her campaign against drug abuse six years ago and has received many accolades worldwide for her efforts to draw attention to the issue.

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