August 16th, 2007
06:18 PM ET
4 years ago

Biden's son to be deployed to Iraq

Biden said his son will be deployed to Iraq.

(CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told a crowd at the Iowa State Fair Thursday that his son will be deployed to Iraq.

Beau Biden, Delaware’s attorney general, is a captain in the Army National Guard. His unit has been notified that it should be prepared to deploy in 2008.

“He’ll go…I don’t want him going,” the Delaware senator told the crowd. “But I don’t want my grandsons or granddaughters going back in 15 years. So how we leave makes a big difference.”

The Delaware senator’s son was in attendance as Biden addressed the crowd in Des Moines.

Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Duncan Hunter also have sons who have either served or have been called for duty in Iraq.

UPDATE: The Biden campaign tells CNN his son’s unit was placed on the activated list 2-3 weeks ago. There is no firm date for him to report yet.

UPDATE II: Delaware National Guard's Col. Len Gratteri confirms to CNN that Sen. Joe Biden's son, military lawyer Beau Biden, is scheduled to be deployed to Iraq in the early months of 2008.

Captain Biden is a Judge Advocate General in the 261st signal brigade of the Delaware National Guard.

Col. Gratteri was unsure of what kind of mission Biden would be doing, but said that his unit is preparing to deploy to Iraq.

– CNN's Mark Norman and Katy Byron


Filed under: Beau Biden • Joe Biden
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    No dumbass partisan comments needed here, we ALL should wish him well.

    August 16, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. Scott Austin, TX

    I thought the best way to serve your country was to have your sons stay home and help get their daddy elected, not fight for your country overseas.

    August 16, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. David, Salinas, CA

    Setting aside the irrational rationale for the war in Iraq, or the incompetent military strategy for coping with the occupation, or the personal sacrifice of our troops and their families... this story also highlights another important failure of the Bush administration: the gross misuse and depletion of our National Guard.

    How exactly is meddling in someone else’s civil war supposed to be guarding our nation?

    I hope that Senator Biden’s son, and all our courageous troops come home safely.

    August 16, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Brendose, Oceanside,CA

    I tell you.....this guy has guts. He is telling the American people that he is willing to sacrafice his own child in order to win over America, and their vote. Good for him.

    August 16, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Chuck Lauria, Suwanee, Georgia

    Sen. Biden is the only Presidential candidate in either party to have a viable plan to get us out of Iraq in a credible manner.
    He is (if I'm not mistaken) also the only candidate to have a son or daughter serving in Iraq; this same son also served in Afghanistan several years ago.
    It's time the media give the Biden & his campaign some equal time.

    August 16, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Scott, ... and why isn't Chelsea being deployed? Oh, she didn't enlist and she is here helping mommy get elected. Right?

    I love it when liberals specifically call for the "draft" when it's Republican kids but turn a blind eye to Democrats.

    August 16, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. DONT YOU WISH

    I wonder how much influence his son had on his own decesion to join the American Fighting Force? I mean, do you think he was "encouraged" to join the military?

    August 16, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Myron, Honolulu, HI

    How does it SUPPORT OUR TROUPS to send them to be targeted in a no WIN WAR?
    We never had anything to WIN except for non-bid contracts to Dick Chaney’s Corporate Friends. Not putting the people to work immediately was the secret cause of the Iraq War Failure.

    August 16, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Marine Mom, South Bend, IN

    Thank you Captain Biden!

    We welcome your parents to the world of sleepless nights.

    Unfortunately, there aren't enough heroes like you.

    God Bless

    August 16, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Tony, Boston, MA

    So when exactly are Mitt Romeny's five adult sons going to deploy??

    August 16, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. Joyce Swart, Norcross, GA

    This will add credibility to Biden's campaign.

    August 16, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. LandoftheFree

    Hats off to the Biden family.
    It is the brave service of those like you that allow us to be the shining beacon of liberty that we are today.

    August 16, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. Ryan, New York

    Jon,
    The difference is that I don't recall Hillary shooting her mouth off about how Chelsea's current endeavors are equivalent to our soldiers' efforts overseas.

    By the way, liberals are calling for a draft of everyone's kids, both Republican and Democrat. They'd rather have neither drafted, but if we're going to keep fighting wars, it's time to make it a national effort rather than a borderline mercenary system. You can disagree with that assessment, but explain why signing bonuses have been on the rise if the military isn't viewing itself that way.

    August 16, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. L.Fleck

    Finally, a candidate who speaks about the reality of the situation "But I don’t want my grandsons or granddaughters going back in 15 years. So how we leave makes a big difference".

    August 16, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Well said, Tom from Dedham!
    Hats off to you

    Auburn, ma

    August 16, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Shawn, Denver CO

    Now that's what I'm talking about! If we have to fight this God-forsaken war, let it be from the ranks of power first. My only regret is that it's families like the Bidens, who oppose it, rather than people like Romney and the vocal ~30% minority that want it. Seems backwards to me. I wonder just how vocal that minority would be if we DID reinstitute the draft, raised the bar to 45 years of age, and made a provision to selective service to prioritize names from voluntary petition those that claim to still support the war by signing it.

    Jon... I resent the comment about all the burden going to the Republicans, as most people don't realize just how stratified the military actually is now in terms of voting and/or political idealogy. The idea that only Republican families have the moral character that elicits their children to serve their country is absurd and insulting. I served multiple tours in Afghanistan, my brother was both in the Air Force and Army, my uncle served with honors in Vietnam, and my father was a Korean War draftee; All African American... all historically voted Democrat. Get your head out of your ass! I think Scott was referring, by sarcasm, to people like G.W. Bush, who had the audacity to cop out of Vietnam so he could work on his fathers campaign teams, then didn't have the respect for uniform to even show up for Guard drills most of the time.

    August 16, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Adam, Clearwater, FL

    This guy radiates sincerity, competence, and integrity. No campaign manager can make someone do that.

    More importantly, he is the only Democratic candidate with the skill, experience, AND compassion to lead this country in accordance with the spirit of the founding fathers, and the candidate with the BEST shot against the Republicans in the general election.

    Look at how he takes care of his own district (and actually LIVES there, commuting to Capital Hill by PUBLIC transportation EVERY DAY). But that's all you can afford if you vowed after getting elected at the age of 29 never to get into the stock market so as not to be influenced inappropriately. And not to mentioned he had maintained his integrity and his impressive record of public service throughout the worst kind of personal loss imaginable.

    Since he doesn't have a warchest because he values integrity over money, it is up to us, the people, to help his campaign catch fire, and the best way is just by telling other people what you know about him. Unlike CNN, not every network is committed to giving candidates equal coverage, so this is going to be grassroots or nothing.

    August 16, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Richard Orlando, FL

    I have a lot of respect for Senator Biden. He is one of the few candidates that answers questions forthright and with honesty, and he actually has a realistic plan to bring this war to a reasonable end if elected president. The willingness of his son to serve in our military overseas only adds to the integrity of the Biden family IMO. God bless, and I hope your son will return home safely & soon.

    August 16, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Steve, Sacramento CA

    I enjoy the fact that Jon from Sacramento showed his complete ignorance about liberal point of views.

    Allow me to explain. Liberals, in the overall majority, do not want a draft of ANY form. There has really been only one Representative (Charles Rangel of New York) in Congress that continually calls for a draft, but his calls are basically ignored by other members in congress. Otherwise, liberals do not ever want one.

    Please do research, or at least have some common sense before you try to attack one side.

    Regardless, I hope Biden's kid stays safe when he gets deployed, along with all the other troops out there.

    August 16, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Sue Filutze

    You mean his son isn't going to show his patriotisim by staying here and helping his Dad get elected? He instead will go to Iraq?
    Good luck to him, and all of those leaving for that insane mess this administration has created.
    If they do bring back the draft then every single person still supporting this WAR should be drafted, and every politician who still supports Bush should have their children drafted!
    I pray that all our military men and women return home very soon.

    August 16, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Mike, Eau Claire, WI

    I don't support Joe Biden and am not a democrat but this is about something more than that and here we do see a sense of dedication and commitment. I do want to wish him and Beau the best of luck and Godspeed. Here is a man who could have easily shirked his duty considering his position and his fathers position and yet he is out there unwilling to do that.

    God bless him.

    August 16, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Jon from Sacramento_

    Since you usually have some of the most intelligent comments on the Ticker (though I often disagree), I never expected such an ignorant comment from you.

    TO ALL CONSERVATIVES:
    Liberals, or progressives, or Democrats, DO NOT HATE America, do not hate the military, and they're not communists. This type of Rovian/Hannity/Limbaugh hate mongering is dangerous in public discourse. You can disagree with opinions, but this CRAP has got to end.
    DEMOCRATS love American–we want to restore the reputation of the great nation that is now slipping away from all of us.

    And by the way, I have independent views and don't always follow the dogma of any party.

    August 16, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    I wish him well and hope he returns safely.

    I believe Sen. Jim Webb's son is also currently serving in Iraq, corrent me if I am mistaken.

    Jon, give it up already sugarpie.

    August 16, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Chip Celina OH

    I've been indifferent regarding Joe Biden's policies over the years. Sometimes I agree with his points, others not.

    In this instance, hats-off to him.

    Tom from Dedham has it right, please no partisan cheap shots here.

    Chip

    August 16, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Jason, MI

    Scott Austin from Texas: Romney was the one who said that, not Biden.

    Biden is a good man who continues to impress. He is consistently the most truthful and educated of all the candidates (Even the Clinton News Network gives him that). He is the only one with the foreign policy experience to restore our nation AND have the actual balls to stand up and get stuff done. Biden, you have my full support.

    August 16, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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