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. Joyce in Florida

    Good luck to both of Biden's sons who are and will be serving in Iraq. I hope they come home safely. That goes for all of our military. Hopefully this won't be for too much longer and everyone will be coming home within the next year; not 10 or 100 years!!!!!!!

    Jim from sc, very well said!!!!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 1, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  2. Nicole in Ga

    Keeping them all in my prayers. God Bless.

    October 1, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. David Goldman for OBAMA

    THERE ARE SOME GOOD PEOPLE IN POLITICS.

    I GUESS PEOPLE GET WHAT THEY WORK FOR.

    MCSENILE HAS 12 HOUSES & 13 CARS.

    BIDEN HAS OUR LOVE, RESPECT & ADMIRATION.

    October 1, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  4. ken

    i know its going to be a rough debate for biden in a way , this is one of his children he left every night to go home to after they nearly die in a car accident that killed thetre mother and im not for sure but i belive another child died also , but he stayed day and night with those boys while in the hospital and like i said took the train home every night as to be home even after years later when he remarried he still did the same. of all the poeple in the senate his is the one with the least money. less then $300.000.00 total wealth after 26 yrs in the senate , so you know he was never on the take of lobbiest, he has the deepest respect from his kids that i have ever seen, so i know this week has its good and bads, i know he will overcome any slips in the debate and will not fall for any traps, yet the next day will be very, very rough on him. ken

    October 1, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. Peggy

    We are all very proud of you and your Father, our next VP. I'm sure your Mom watches with great pride at the wonderful job your father has done raising you. Bless you both.

    October 1, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. texas democrat

    I will pray everyday for Beau and Track to come home safely but also all of the other troops . Right or wrong this is America's war and I will always pray for our brave, very brave men and women. Thank you for your service.

    October 1, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. A NATION OF WINERS for OBAMA

    ELECT SMART LEADERS.

    THEY WILL MAKE GREAT DECISIONS.

    IGNORANCE GOES HAND IN HAND WITH UNTEMPERED,

    DESTRUCTIVE, BLIND GREED.HOW CAN MCGREEDY

    SLEEP IN 12 HOUSES & DRIVE 13 CARS,WHILE HIS

    POLICIES CAUSE OUR CHILDREN TO CRY FROM HUNGER.

    October 1, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. Scott L

    Glad his son will come back with fellow WINNING AMERICAN MILITARY members because of the SURGE!!!!!!!! Too bad Obama voted AGAINST the surge and to this day STILL fails to recognize that HE WAS WRONG.

    ADMIT YOU ARE WRONG DUMMY!

    USA USA ! GO AMERICA!

    October 1, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. Michelle Marietta

    All the best to the National Guard Unit. We are proud of you all and grateful for your service, Come back safe and soon.

    October 1, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  10. linda from South Dakota

    best of luck beau.. may god protect you always as well as our men and women at war

    October 1, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  11. Chuck

    God be with you Beau.

    God be especially with Track Palin, who is a INFANTRYMAN in Diyala, one the worst areas of Iraq.

    Biden's son is a lawyer and will be doing his duty as a REMF.

    October 1, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Brock Landers

    CAPTAIN BEAU BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020!!!

    October 1, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  13. bob greene

    I wish the very best for Capt. Biden and safe return from this old Marine, but it shure would have been nice that the other bloggers would have gave the same to Gov. Palins son. Too bad he dosen't count.

    October 1, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. TexicoFrom Mexico

    Beau and all our finest over there be safe and get back home soon! I know you dad is proud of you as we all are!

    Veterans for Obama

    October 1, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  15. Cheryl in Florida

    Beau, good luck and come home safe; bring the rest of the troops with you. I know your dad is as proud of you as we are of him.

    October 1, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. Hammerlock

    Difference between Biden and Palin #2,342: Biden won't be telling these soldier's that they're charged to fight a holy war charged by God.

    October 1, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. Ken

    Wow, Palin's sons are going to actually be involved in security and combat operations and Biden's kid is a................lawyer.

    Wow! That's impressive. LOL!!!!

    October 1, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  18. observer

    Good Luck Beau. We shall keep you in our prayers. I believe your father as VP will work hard everyday to bring our troops home safely

    October 1, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  19. ran

    Thanks to all who serve and may they all come home safe and soon.

    October 1, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. Bat-242

    Beau's a military lawyer for crying out loud! Fat chance of him getting hit with an IED, he might get a paper cut while on the job or a bit tipsy at the 'O' Club, whereas Sara Palin's boy being infantry has a far greater risk since he may be on the front line.

    October 1, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  21. strong

    Please don't make this into a mushy soap opera. What timing, yes.

    Stay safe of course, and goodbye already.

    October 1, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  22. mississippi for obama

    May God Bless you Beau and all of the other troops, and we hope that you all come home soon. I hope that you all will come back to a President Obama and Vice President Biden

    October 1, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  23. Sarah - Los Angeles, CA

    god bless you, joe biden, and your son, beau.

    what a wonderful VP you will make.

    October 1, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  24. No Hillary = No Obama

    Exploit – that should be the theme of the opportunistic Obama campaign. Well, when you are superficial and repeat what everyone else has already said, what else can you do, but stage craft.

    October 1, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  25. Ken

    How many gaffes can Joe Biden make at his son's deployment ceremony?

    October 1, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
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