NEW CASTLE, Delaware (CNN) – Vice President-elect Joe Biden spoke at his home state’s Veterans Day ceremony Tuesday morning, thanking the veterans present for their service and re-iterating his campaign’s promise to care for those coming back from foreign battlefields “in this war that we ignore in everyday life.”
“We are a nation at war,” said Biden “Sometimes, you would not recognize that because such a small percentage of our population is serving. But as I speak, it is probable that some young American has been felled by a bullet, or a IED, or a bomb or a terrorist attack somewhere in Afghanistan or in Iraq.”
As he regularly did on the campaign trail, Biden praised the National Guard for the role they’ve played in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying the way they have joined in the fight with regular forces is “seamless.”
“I am astounded, I am moved to the point of pride that is hard to explain with the professionalism, the high morale and the unquestioned capability of our military forces now,” said Biden. “Regular in addition to our National Guard and Reserve. You cannot tell the distinction, it’s seamless.” (Biden’s son Beau is a captain in Delaware’s National Guard, deploying to Iraq at the end of the month.)
The future VP noted that post-traumatic stress levels, traumatic brain injury numbers, divorce and suicide rates are higher than in any other war. He added that he feels uncomfortable calling November 11 a holiday, saying it’s more a “holy day” because of the sacred obligation to those making sacrifices "in this war that we ignore in everyday life."
“The only sacred, sacred obligation this nation has is to care for those who we sent to war and prepare them and equip them with the best is available in the world and care for them when they come home,” said Biden. “The homecoming does not end with the homecoming parade.”
At the beginning of his remarks, Biden thanked his introducer for taking note of his new title but said nothing will give him more honor that being a senator from Delaware. He also shared with the crowd that he and his wife Jill will be visiting the Vice President’s residence at the Naval Observatory on Friday, as the Obamas visited the White House Monday.