October 3rd, 2008
11:06 AM ET
8 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. Nick

    Biden talks of what he actually knows. Palins speaks what she was told to say.

    October 3, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Shawn T

    Biden...a true patriot.

    He delievered a knockout performance just 1 day before his son is shipped off to the most dangerous war on earth right now.

    Hats off.

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

    it'll be nice to finally be able to look up to washington again.

    go back to your hockey moms and joe 6-packs back in Alaska, sarah palin.

    October 3, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    October 3, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Peter

    Biden was in command of his responses with clear statements which were supported by facts and on message

    October 3, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. tulsa

    It is not "believing in the cause".... It is doing his duty. As a son of a 30 year Army enlisted man who served 2 tours in Korea and 2 tours in Nam I can tell you that "the cause" has nothing to do with it.

    It is all about DUTY.

    This is something that we should not have done. That is very clear now. We have wasted so much blood and treasure in a misguided war.

    Senator Obama was one of the very few that were not swayed by the Bush fear tactics. He is the one who has shown real insight.

    October 3, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Joe Biden for VP

    Palin did not offer a single coherent response to a direct question from "Charlie", Katie Couric, or Gwen Ifill!

    October 3, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. Joe-seeyouintheWH

    All substance no fluff for Biden.
    All fluff and no answers for Palin!
    Can't she just answer a question???

    October 3, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. ben

    He withstood the barage of distortions from Palins about his and Obama's record without lowering himself to her level.

    October 3, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Shawn T

    Debby: October 3rd, 2008 2:27 pm ET

    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.

    Debby, Biden supports the troops...NOT the war. There's a difference. Understand that.

    October 3, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. lesle

    He was wise and informed and sober and respectful. He was VERY honest and VERY well-informed unlike Palin who aped her talking points.

    October 3, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |

    Yes I would to if my son was hiding behind a desk. He is a lawyer and probably his there to not to defend our soldiers. pailn son is in the front of the battle getting shot at. Biden son his getting a paper cut. Dick Morris Says last night that Palin 'Creamed' Biden. The liberal media will not give credit to palin for the debate. The people of this country is. Watch the polls. Not the liberal media control polls.

    October 3, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. Richie

    Single most important election I have ever Voted.

    Thanx joe for your closing remark yesterday night!!

    October 3, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. 60 yr old white woman

    Without a doubt – Biden

    October 3, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |

    “Raising taxes is not patriotic.”

    October 3, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Jasmine in Germany

    Let's hope and pray that all of our courageous men and women come home safely and soon.

    No more unintelligent war-mongers in the White House, please vote Obama-Biden.

    October 3, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. tina

    Joe Biden is a true statesman! He was clear, concise and stuck to the issues. He successfully linked McCain to Bush and didn't attack her

    October 3, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. Amy


    Palin's son probably is behind the front line considering who his mommy is.

    October 3, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Kentucky


    CNN was all over it when Palin's sons unit was deployed. Go back and check the archives moron!!!!

    October 3, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. Gail

    President of Harvard law Review+

    Joe Biden-chairman of Foreign affairs committee=True America and Bright world!!

    October 3, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. Peterj

    He answered the questions and gave specifics, however, Palin as usual avoided questions.

    October 3, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. Democrat for John McCain

    This is a good event but that does not desrve Barack/Biden to be our president. Our country and troops will be in good hands if we elect John Mccain as our president.

    October 3, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. Anonymous


    The Confederacy referred to the Civil War as "the cause." Given your racist statements about Obama, I suggest you stop living in the past..or go iron your white sheet already.

    October 3, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. Courtney/Pennsylvania

    Beau keep you head down and your spirits up. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Military Mom

    October 3, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. Ann

    He knows his stuff, is a real guy and will make a great VP.

    October 3, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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