October 1st, 2008
04:10 PM ET
5 years ago

Biden to address son’s deployment ceremony

Sen. Joe Biden will see his son Beau off on Friday at the deployment ceremony.
Sen. Joe Biden will see his son Beau off on Friday at the deployment ceremony.

WILMINGTON, Delaware (CNN) –- It will be a very public good-bye for Joe Biden and his eldest son, Beau: on Friday, the Delaware senator will address the deployment ceremony of his son’s National Guard unit as they prepare to leave for a tour of duty in Iraq.

Following Thursday night’s debate with Sarah Palin in St. Louis, Biden will fly back to Delaware to spend one last day with his 39 year-old son before his deployment to Iraq as a trial counselor in the 261st Signal Brigade, a unit that specializes in providing communications for the military in Iraq.

Friday morning, Biden will join the rest of Delaware’s congressional delegation and Gov. Ruth Ann Minner in speaking to the 110 members of the unit. Despite increased interest and security because Biden is now a vice presidential nominee, the public affairs officer for the unit insists the ceremony will be no different, and not political.

“Our ceremony will be the same as any other unit leaving,” said Lt. Col. Len Grattieri. “We’re not planning anything different or special, it’s going to be a nice respectful ceremony.”

Grattieri said that the last time Biden — who has often spoken at deployment ceremonies - addressed a departing unit was 18 months ago, and that he usually roots his remarks in foreign policy, offering his perspective on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Beau Biden – a captain in the National Guard and Delaware’s attorney general – doesn’t ship out right away. Instead he heads to Fort Bliss, Texas this weekend where his unit completes assigned tasks and receives additional training specific to the conditions in Iraq. Then in six to eight weeks they ship out to Iraq.

Grattieri couldn't say where Beau will be based but his role will be that of a prosecutor enforcing the  Uniform Code of Military Justice. He added that positions aren't clearly defined, the unit will do whatever the Army needs them to.

The Democratic VP nominee has been trying to balance debate prep with family time. Tuesday afternoon, Biden took a break and went out to lunch with Beau, Beau’s wife Hallie and the couple’s young daughter.

Aides say it’s been a tough week for Biden, with Beau’s departure weighing on him. Biden said in an interview Tuesday that he is proud of his son, but wishes he weren’t going.

Palin’s 19 year-old son Track, an infantry soldier, deployed to Iraq with his Army unit on September 11.

If all goes as planned, Beau Biden’s tour will last a year, and he will return home in September 2009.


Filed under: Beau Biden • Joe Biden
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Sherry

    The same Biden son that only recently gave up his lobbyist job for the duration of the election?

    October 1, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  2. Proud to be American

    Beau may God Bless you and your fellow solders ... we appreciate your support of our Country.... come home safely!

    October 1, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. FreeNLovIt

    May God be with you and with Palin's son! God bless AMERICA!!!

    October 1, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  4. S. Boatman Warrensburg, Mo.

    May God Send An Angel To Watch Over You!

    October 1, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  5. Denise, NH

    I really like Joe Biden and his son Beau. They seem to have a great relationship. I think we might see Beau run for the presidency some day. He was really good at the convention.

    Anyway, I'm glad Barack has him on his team, and I think Biden was the best choice.

    Profiles in courage is appropriate for Barack and Joe, they are both men of honor.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 1, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  6. Joanne, FL

    I pray for Beau, Sarah's son and all the other men and women who are serving. I hate that we're there and I pray that they come back soon.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 1, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. SKEE WEE 4 OBAMA/BIDEN

    MAY GOD BE WITH YOU BAU. YOUR FELLOW DELAWARIAN!

    October 1, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. Sarah Bell

    Go get'em Beau!

    October 1, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. JImmy in California

    God speed Captain Biden. May HE bless and protect you and your unit and bring you all home safe. While this an election fight, I not only pray for Gov. Palin's son, Track, but for all our brave sons and daughters serving around the world. My prayers are not for the Democratic or Republican sons and daughters but for the American Service personal.

    I will also send a special prayer for Senator Biden and Senator Obama as they endeavor to make history and bring this country together again.

    October 1, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  10. LB-NJ REPUBLICANS FOR MCCAIN

    come on guys, he's doing no more-no less than every other mother and father that have waved their sons and daughters off . It is an admirable feat for this boy -But don't turn this into a Biden photo-op.

    October 1, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  11. Blessings For Beau

    God bless Beau and the Bidens.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 1, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  12. Lisa, MD

    May God have a hedge over Biden son and family as well. :-)

    October 1, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  13. Audrey

    God be with you and your family Beau and Joe.

    October 1, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. Susan

    May all our soldiers come home safe and sound – the sooner the better. Thanks to all who serve.

    October 1, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  15. ANGY

    GOOD LUCK DUDE COME BACK HOME HEALTHY AND HAPPY. i know its going to be hard being far away from your family but we have to finish the mess of GOP/mccain/bush. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND OUT SOLDIERS FIGHTING FOR US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 1, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  16. Dani ~ Tucson

    Good luck and Godspeed Beau. I have no doubt you will make us all very proud. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Joe ~ keep up the wonderful work you are doing and please kick some major butt tomorrow night :)

    October 1, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  17. david

    Hoahhhhh!!!

    Understand, the US Army of today is very very young.

    Most are Obama supporters are rightfully so. They know the threats of today. They are not stuck in Vietnam!

    October 1, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  18. Heather, Cleveland, OH

    Dear Senator Biden and Beau,

    Good luck and Godspeed. My thoughts and prayers are with you both and for your safety, Beau, while in Iraq.

    You are both very good men.

    October 1, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. I can see Russia

    Come back safe to see your Dad as VP!

    October 1, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  20. Laura

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Biden family. Be well, and come home safely Beau! God Bless!

    October 1, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  21. aki

    Only Obama has no ties to actual patriotic action in his life time!

    October 1, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  22. Former Republican for OBAMA

    GO BIDEN GO. LOVE YOU MAN.

    WE CERTAINLY KNOW WHAT & WHO IS IMPORTANT

    YO OUR BIDEN MAN. HIS FAMILY, HIS COUNTRY AND

    ALL AMERICANS, NOT 13 HOUSES WITH 13 BEDROOMS.

    October 1, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  23. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Salute to you Beau. If you are half the man your dad is, then you are a great man indeed.

    Be Safe and come back soon!!

    I'm voting for the man with a plan...Obama!

    October 1, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  24. Dr. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    BIDEN IS A MAN OF HONOR, INTEGRITY, STRENGTH

    & A GREAT DEAL OF LOVE FOR HIS FAMILY & US.

    LOVE HIM BACK. BIDEN SAY HELLO TO MY PRESIDENT !!!

    October 1, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  25. Anne E.

    What a special, special man - just like his father.

    God bless and keep you safe, and return you safely home to your family's arms!

    October 1, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
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