October 3rd, 2008
11:06 AM ET
5 years ago

Biden sends off son's National Guard unit

Joe Biden sends off his son's National Guard unit.
Joe Biden sends off his son's National Guard unit.

DOVER, Delaware (CNN) – Joe Biden spoke briefly but emotionally Friday morning at the deployment ceremony for his son Beau’s Iraq-bound National Guard unit.

“I’ve come here many times before,” Biden told the 261st Signal Brigade as they stood in formation. “As a Delawarean, as a United States senator. But today I come as you prepare to deploy as a father. A father who got some sage advice from his son this morning. “Dad, keep it short, we’re in formation.

Watch: Biden sends off son, troops

“I always listen to my general,” he continued. “So let me simply say, like all of the family members that are here today gathered on this green, my heart is full of love and pride.”

Biden didn’t get as choked up as he has in the past when talking about his family, but did show the emotion often seen on the campaign trail; his two-and-a-half minute remarks were filled with pregnant pauses, and delivered with a shaky voice. Biden wore his trademark aviator sunglasses during the entire event, except when speaking.

Related: Biden addresses ceremony

Thirty-nine-year-old Beau - a captain in the National Guard, and Delaware’s attorney general — is not immediately leaving for Iraq. He spends Friday and Saturday at home with his family before heading to Fort Bliss, Texas for additional training with his unit that will ship out for a year-long tour of duty in six to eight weeks.


Once in Iraq, Beau will be a prosecutor enforcing the Unified Code of Military Conduct in a unit that will provide communications for U.S. forces in the country.

Sarah Palin’s son Track deployed to Iraq September 11, a fact that Biden referenced in his closing remarks at Thursday night’s debate: "For both of us, selfishly, may God protect our troops."


Filed under: Beau Biden • Joe Biden
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. Tina

    Biden,Love you!!

    October 3, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  2. Henry

    That's true marverick!!

    October 3, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. McCain Invented the BlackBerry, Palin Invented the Manure Spreader

    GODSPEED, BEAU!

    We'll do you proud by electing your pop here at home!

    October 3, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. Nick

    Next VP of United states,

    JOE BIDEN!!

    October 3, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. Independent, white woman

    May God bless him and bring him and our men and women safely.

    October 3, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. Caribou Barbie

    Governor Palin, please discuss how your foreign policy positions will differ from the current administration's?

    Hey, can I call you Gwen? Heckuva job, Gwen!

    I'll betcha' my opponents are a-wishing that you had a Maverick representin' every Joe Six-pack, hockey mom – bless their hearts – ya' know? Darn right, a maverick does a heckuva job, not just kinda good, but honest-to-goodness heckuva job! As one of my heroes, Donny Rumsfield, once told me, "Golly gee willickers, that's a peach of a pickle!". So yes, I know a little somethin' about oil up here in the only Arctic state ;-)

    October 3, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Dr. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    CAN I CALL YOU JOOOOE, WINK, WINK ?

    October 3, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. zach

    What a great man, and what a great family...I'd be proud to have them in the White House...

    ...contrary to what Sarah Palin says/believes, I highly doubt Sen. Biden would EVER "wave the white-flag of surrender" in Iraq, as I'm sure he will always work for the benefit of not only his son, but all those in the armed forces.

    October 3, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    While it was a brief speech, it was heartfelt, and also sweet when Sen. Biden said “I always listen to my general,” when prefacing his comments. May God Bless Beau and his fellow soldiers and my God Bless Obama & Biden as they wrap up these last few weeks before they win the general election!

    October 3, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. tulsa

    Good on you Joe. Here's hoping your son and everyone's sons, daughters, moms and dads come home soon. Safe and whole.

    Get elected and put an end to this sad waste of this country's finest.

    October 3, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. BRIDGE & ROAD TO NOWHERE

    beau biden may god bless you

    hopefully you can get a emergency leave to see your father sworn in as our next VP of the USA

    October 3, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Women Voter

    Biden we love you!!! God bless your son and all our troops!! Please keep them safe!

    October 3, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. Abby

    God be with you, Beau. Come back soon and THANK YOU!!!!

    October 3, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Latina for Obama (nj)

    May God bless Beau Biden...and all the sons and daugthers in harm's way...and may God bless America..

    YES WE CAN!

    October 3, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Dallas, TX

    Sarah Palin has a son in the war as well and I'd recall CNN reporting on that, just another example of media bias!

    May god protect all the sons and daughters!

    October 3, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Ted

    Next VP of the U.S. Joe Biden! We love you Joe. Very good job last night. You nailed it!

    October 3, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Tony

    STAY SAFE BEAU.

    OBAMA AND YOUR DAD WILL BRING YOU HOME!

    October 3, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. For Obama!!

    I hope your son comes back soon Biden!! Hope he stays safe!!

    October 3, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. Texas Voter

    Good luck son.

    Ignore Obama's comments about our troops air raiding villages and killing civilians.

    Your COUNTRY supports you.

    October 3, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. Debby

    I commend Biden's son but not Biden constantly criticizing the Iraq failure when he himself has a child who believes in the cause. I am sure his son would have another profession if he didn't think the war was a failure. I can't imagine a parent belittling a cause that his own child believes in one night, and then give him his blessing the next, especially when Biden kept pounding away how the war was a mistake.

    October 3, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Michael

    Even though I am dead set agianst the war in Iraq,

    GOD BLESS our troops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And may God Shield their families!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 3, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. Jan, Knoxville, TN

    Senator Biden: You were absolutely superb last night at the debate– what a wealth of knowledge and understanding of both foreign policy and domestic policy you exhibited. Can't say the same for your opponent, who didn't directly answer many of the questions and relied on winking and redneck phrases to get through the evening.

    I pray your son will return home soon to find his Dad Vice President of the United States.

    Yellow Dog Democrat and Fellow Catholic in Knoxville, TN

    October 3, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Leona-Canada

    A story was shared with me of Sen Biden at a fundraising event held in New York for those who stutter..Sen Biden took the time to speak with a young man just starting off in his singing career and the words of encouragement spoken by Sen Biden was not only felt by this young man but also by his mother...American you have an opportunity to embrace two excellent leaders in Sens. Biden and Obaman...how lucky you are but sadly how blinded some seem to be in their steadfast hold on their own prejudices which is obviously not allowing clear and sound judgement.......As a parent myself I understand your prayer in your debate closing Sen Biden...Prayers are extended to all parents whose children are fighting for their country.

    October 3, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. ceebee

    Thank you Beau- Stay safe

    October 3, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. Laura

    God Bless everyone ....

    October 3, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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