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. Lee

    Go Joe! You were brilliant last night; no surprise. Unlike Palin who memorized a speech and delivered it in segments.

    GObama/Biden

    October 3, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. MDR

    Joe Biden was far more knowledgeable than Sarah Palin. Her answers were evasive , some were completely wrong. She is not qualified to be VP

    October 3, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Esther

    Biden knew his stuff Palin didn't answer the questions and admitted she didnt

    October 3, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Russ

    Obama is okay, but, Biden is more qualified to be President than anyone in the race.

    October 3, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. rm

    Imagine: Your child is in the military. It's 9/11 and the President needs to call the vice-president to get advice about the strategy to take. Close your eyes and imagine the phone ringing and Joe Biden answers the phone. Then close your eyes and imagine Sarah Palin answering the phone. SCARY!!!!

    October 3, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Bob Indianapolis IN

    And, unlike Caribou Barbie, he didn't mention the unit number or where they would be deployed on National television...

    October 3, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    God Speed Beau and EVERY.SINGLE.SOLDIER and their families.

    Way to GO Joe!

    October 3, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Tony

    COME NOVEMBER 5TH, PALIN WILL BE AS FORGOTTEN AS SHE WAS BEFORE HER SELECTION.

    GO BACK TO MOOSE COUNTRY HONEY!

    October 3, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. Katiee

    lol @ the amount of double standards here...both Biden and Palin have sons going into Iraq. leave it at that. how many of you here would like sending any of your family there? service is service. bickering over the location of their deployment or their duties is silly and childish.

    btw, it's nothing new for Biden to be speaking at the deployment in DE. it's been reported he's done it many times before.

    October 3, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. No Hillary = No Obama

    Joe Biden seems like a depressed individual

    October 3, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. SB

    Good job Joe. How stupid do you have to be to believe Palin. Shes a nut job. wink wink.

    October 3, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. LiberalChris

    I myself have deployed over there. I know it is not at all safe and anything can happen, even to a JAG officer. I wish your son and his unit a successful deployment and a safe return.

    I was really impressed last night with you Sen. Biden. You stuck to the talking points and answered the questions directly, unlike Sarah "Can I Call You Joe?" Palin. I noticed when she started calling you Sen. Biden that she was getting pissed.

    And oh yeah, McCain/Palin, IT IS OVER!!! The Michigan debacle is just a sign of things to come for the next few weeks. If you can't win the Reagan Democrats, you don't stand a snowball's chance of winning the presidency.

    October 3, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    This is politics at it's best....do all of you (both Republicans and Democrats) remember the democratic primaries where Joe Biden said it straight out that Obama was not ready to be commander in chief?????? do you all remember when Joe Biden said that Obama was not ready to be president????? Do you all remember when Joe Biden said that Obama had no foreign experience?? do you all remember when Joe Biden was against Obama for not funding the troops and called out Obama on it???

    Geeee now look at what Joe Biden is saying about Obama now..hmmmm.....hypocrite!!!!

    October 3, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. norma

    Oh People open your eyes and dont trust Biden/Obama. They wash your brain. and dont lick their butt.

    October 3, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. President Joel Jefferson

    I didn't know that democrats had children in the Military... Last noghts debate was interesting of what I saw. I have the perfect commercial; a picture of Biden and Palin next to each other with the sound of a Heart beating for 30 seconds...

    God bless America and God bless our troops.

    October 3, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Pamela McGregor

    Great job! Joe.

    I just read that Dick Morris judged Palin the winner. How many times has this man changed his position? He was anti-Hillary until Obama won and now says anything to retain his position on Fox. I know that the folks at Fox can barely breathe. An Obama – Biden victory would see the end of their dominance in cable news and consequently less revenues and fewer analysts........

    October 3, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. Joel

    I have the perfect commercial; a picture of Biden and Palin next to each other with the sound of a Heart beating for 30 seconds...

    God bless America and God bless our troops.

    October 3, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Beverly, NYC

    Debby October 3rd, 2008 2:27 pm ET: It is possible to support the troops with supporting a wrong headed war about nothing started by a President with a war agenda using 9/11 as an excuse. Like a true republican I guess you suspended your brain when you blog. Since you are the Iraq war expert please tell me why we went to Iraq, do not say 9/11, WMD's or 10 yrs after the first gulf war Bush discovered Saddam was a threat. When you answer why we are there, tell me what we will win when we leave?

    October 3, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. Joel

    Whats a Maverick? 'John McCain is the only one in this race that has ever really fought for you' I think not, I find it impossible to believe that Jon McCain had an African American like me on his mind back then, because all I really have to do is look at his Civil Right's Record and that would give me a good idea of rather or not he was fighting for me, however I can't because he doesn't have one.

    October 3, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. maddie

    Best of Luck to Joe Biden and his son! Joe (and no, that's not six pack Joe) clearly won the debate last night. What a contrast between a person with warmth, sincerity, and charisma and a vacant reptile. Sara Palin's cold, snakelike stare sends shivers!

    October 3, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. Esther

    COME NOVEMBER 5TH, PALIN WILL BE AS FORGOTTEN AS SHE WAS BEFORE HER SELECTION.

    GO BACK TO MOOSE COUNTRY HONEY!

    October 3, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. Kenneth

    Congradulations Joe Biden on raising a son that wants to serve our country.

    October 3, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. rm

    If you only have negative things to say about Biden's son going to Iraq, please go on a blog with Fox News and leave your idiotic comments there.

    Thanks

    October 3, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. milka-boston

    Palin ignored questions, was versed, "over-acted" & to ignore Article 1 of the Constution of VP duties, disturbing... :o(

    October 3, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. Independent22

    Biden took a stand for Dad's against the cutesy "Hockey Mom". What makes her think she has a monopoly on family value?.

    October 3, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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