October 3rd, 2008
11:06 AM ET
4 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. McCainLostMyVote

    Biden, you and your family is awesome. Our best wishes to your son and Palin's son. I don't like Palin since she does everythign for show. People like Debby who are racist will find ways to discredit others. Deep down racism prevails in some. But, a lot of white folks are beyond the silliness that Debby said in one of the comments below. God bless America and her soldiers and their families.

    October 3, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. McCain is too old

    Debby-

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

    Thank you Biden family-

    Women for Obama

    October 3, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Denise in OKC

    God Bless and protect our brave soldiers.

    October 3, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. Ben

    He really let us know what Obama is all about!

    He made me approve Obama!!

    October 3, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. Remy

    Biden debated with RECORDS but Palin shouted with lies pushed into her head during her training sessions. Further both of their sons are in Iraq. I hope Obama/Biden combine bring those young guys home safe!

    October 3, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. AL

    Joe Biden,
    I have had the privilege of sitting in an audience twice when you were speaking in Scranton. The first time was during the Kerry campaign and the early stages of the war. You spoke words of encouragement and made everyone in that room feel safe and gave us hope. You also give words of encouragement and make the american people feel there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel everyday on the campaign trail.
    I will pray for your son Beau and all the soldiers fighthing for our freedom be kept safe and come home soon.
    God Blees America – God Bless you and your family

    October 3, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Richie

    Biden talked facts and substance... Paline talked rhetoric

    October 3, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. Casey-Pa

    Senator Biden looked Presidential during the debate. He may be the most qualified VP in the history of our country.

    October 3, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. A Bridge to Nowhere

    TAINOPOWER – Palin creamed Biden?? You have got to be kidding.
    Biden spoke from experience-Palin spoke memorized talking points and from notes on cue cards. It was obvious that she was making points that she had no understanding of. Dick Morris is not exactly an objective source-and by the way do a little research into just who owns most of the so-called "liberal media" in this country

    October 3, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. Michael G-Ventura ca

    God Speed Beau- and to all our troops-help is on the way! We will begin a new and positive agenda come January 20, 2009 when President Barack Obama takes the oath of office!

    October 3, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. mitch

    GOD bless you all and we'll have you out of there as soon as possible.

    OBAMA '08-NO MORE WAR FOR OIL!!!!! IT'S NOT WORTH IT!!!!

    October 3, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. faye, NV

    Biden I wish you and your family the best, it must be difficult to send him off. Hopefully when you and Obama take office things will change.
    Real Change We Can Believe In.

    October 3, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Roberto-Nevada

    Biden was knowledgable and understood the issues, Palin memorized soundbites.

    October 3, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. Republican Mom for Obama/Biden!

    May God Bless you & your son, Mr. Biden!

    October 3, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. Martha

    To Beau, God bless you and thank you for your support. I myself am a 20 year veteran. Please watch your back and stay safe.

    To Joe, you were great last night and thank you for enhancing Barack's ticket. Some say Sarah is hot but let me tell you, I am a 45 year old black woman and YOU are the hottie here. Jill is a lucky woman to have not only a good looking man, but an intelligent ,caring, and strong man.

    October 3, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. palin is plain dumb

    If you hear the sound of gnawing, that would be the republicans biting themselves at the realization that their star is hitched to a lying geriatric hothead and a painfully dimwitted airhead.

    That said,

    God Bless all the families of the boys and girls that have had to pay the price for Bush's folly. I just know that in the end, the American people will do the right thing for our country, for the world and for our future.

    Obama/Biden all the way!

    October 3, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  17. FL Voter

    Biden,

    You have made me very proud to support you & Obama in this election.

    Great job last night!

    My prayers are for your son's safe return, and all service men & women.

    Obama/Biden '08
    God bless America!

    October 3, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. tracy

    Isn't it good to tell our kids not to be pregnant at the age of 18?
    Is it not good to tell our sons and daughters to go to Harvard and Yale and get the best education?

    You Betcha!

    October 3, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. simp

    We have to continue to keep all our troops in our prayers. My nephew returned for Iraq about 2 years ago and it was a very trying time for my sister while he was gone. While in Iraq he was a medic and he saw quite a bit, we need to bring our young men and woman home.

    I pray for Beau and all our troops for speed and safe return. Senator Biden you should be proud, our military makes us all proud.

    Obama/Biden

    October 3, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. Gail

    It's a pretty sad statement about the vice presidential debate that Sarah Palin's success was that she didn't fall flat on her face. With the immense difficulties facing this country, we need an experienced Vice President, not someone who has absolutely no domestic and foreign policy experience. She has no understanding of the complexity of the issues facing this country. Joe Biden spoke knowledgeably about the issues and totally outstripped Sarah Palin. Joe Biden won by a landslide. McCain made a huge blunder choosing her as his running mate.

    October 3, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. Barb

    Her grammer is terrible and she is so confused. I don't fault her wanting to succeed but why not raise her family first? She comes across as being very selfish and I am offended that McCain tried to win the female vote by selecting her. They should have done more searching but then, he is out of touch on so many

    October 3, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. rm

    Dallas, TX

    What are you talking about. There was A LOT more coverage of Palin's son leaving than Biden's son. Please shut up now.

    October 3, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. Cindy

    God speed, Beau. Come home soon... come home safely.

    October 3, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  24. Obama a Pirate not a Patriot

    It gets really personal now doesn't it Joe. The men who are fighting for this country, most of them, just want to be with their families and be safe. I believe that they all want to win. What many of you don't feel, is
    that The soldiers are AMERICA'S TEAM. They are fighting the super bowl of their lives. The least we can do is stand up and cheer for them.
    When Barak said our guys were air-raiding villages and killing civilians,
    he made us sound worse than the mafia. How could a true patriot be
    so disdainful of the sweat, blood and tears of our great soldiers.
    I am proud of Patriot McCain, and Patriot Palin, they have always been Proud of America, and they will bring our boys home with honor.

    October 3, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. vicky

    My kids are in bed at 8PM because they have school the next day. What are her kids doing following her around the country this campaign instead of being in school?

    October 3, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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