November 20th, 2008
09:40 AM ET
4 years ago

Beau Biden ships out to Iraq

Capt. Beau Biden left for Iraq Wednesday with his Delaware National Guard Unit.
Capt. Beau Biden left for Iraq Wednesday with his Delaware National Guard Unit.

(CNN) – Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s eldest son Beau left his training base in Texas on Wednesday, bound for a year-long tour of duty in Iraq with his Delaware National Guard unit.

The 114 members of the 261st Signal Brigade were training at Fort Bliss, Texas for the past two months ahead of their mobilization to Iraq. Captain Beau Biden, also Delaware’s attorney general, will serve as an assistant Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer in Iraq, enforcing the Uniform Code of Military Justice and helping troops with legal issues back home.

On their way to Iraq, the unit will make two stops before arriving at a staging area outside of Iraq where they will receive additional training and equipment. The location of the staging area is classified, though most U.S. troops stage in Kuwait before going into Iraq.

The Vice President-elect was able to see his son one last time before his mobilization last weekend in Nevada when the unit had ‘R&R’ leave.

Beau was also given special permission to fly to Chicago to join his family on Election Day but declined, instead watching the returns and President-elect Barack Obama’s speech on a laptop at Fort Bliss.

“This is a different brand of kid,” his father remarked to reporters on the flight to Chicago.

Joe Biden often gets emotional when talking about his family and fought back tears during brief remarks at Beau’s deployment ceremony in Dover, Delaware on October 3.

“I’ve come here many times before – as a Delawarean, as a United States senator. But today I come as you prepare to deploy as a father,” Biden told the soldiers and their families gathered in front of the Capitol building. “Like all of the family members that are here today gathered on this green, my heart is full of love and pride.”

“Never before has a Delaware guard unit been deployed that is better qualified,” he added. “You are the best demonstration of both our nation’s greatness and, equally as importantly, our people’s goodness.”

Beau will return to Delaware next September and though he has tried to tamp down speculation, rumors are swirling about the possibility of his running for his father’s Senate seat in 2010.


Filed under: Beau Biden • Joe Biden
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Meka

    Why are you doing this, CNN? As if it wasn't enough that Palin made it known to the World of her Son going into IRAQ!

    November 20, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. Jeff

    I understood that, as with the son of Prince Charles, that placing a high profile soldier in harm's way in counterproductive. We don't want to have to deal with a ransome for Beau next year when Biden takes the Vice Presidency.

    November 20, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  3. Tom

    A little off topic - but if it's okay for a vice-president's son and other senators' sons and daughters to be in Iraq, then why don't they let Prince Harry go back? If people want to serve, why not let them? I know having some high profile people in those areas could bring undue attention by the enemy, but Harry was doing okay until that reporter spilled the beans.

    November 20, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  4. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Godspeed Beau...our thoughts and prayers go with you and all our servicemen and women deployed throughout the world.

    November 20, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  5. Alaskan Fame Junkie

    Good luck and Godspeed, Beau. Thank you for your service to our country.

    I sincerely hope that all you nasty bloggers out there keep your venom out of this thread.

    November 20, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  6. Maggie from Virginia

    Wishing you a safe arrival and safe return home. Our prayers are with you.

    Say hello to my bro (Lee W) for me.

    November 20, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  7. R. Brown

    Matt Drudge blew the cover for Prince Harry, although his defenders say he was not the first to break the news. He needs to keep his nose out of the Bidens' live and let Beau do his service as he is supposed to.

    November 20, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  8. Tom in Delaware

    Best of Luck Beau! Godspeed.

    November 20, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  9. AL

    Be safe Beau, our prayers are with you and your family at this time along with all the soldiers and their families.

    November 20, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  10. ohio

    As a fellow vet I say thank you to Beau and the Biden family and may God be with you. Don't forget your Chem light batteries.

    November 20, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  11. Don

    Say it ain't so Joe. OMG you mean you are letting your son go to a war your not for? Where is the Political unrest now? You have the power Joe, maybe you can pull a string or two and have him doing something non combative.

    November 20, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  12. Ron

    lets not get too excited, its not like he's in a combat unit. He's just a lawyer and is at not going to be in harm's way.

    November 20, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. Karen - Proud of This Country

    Biden has held his tongue about his son going to IRAQ and tried desperately not to make it a big deal. Unlike Palin, she let the entire world know her son is in IRAQ to get sympathy votes. I wish Beau well and hope he comes home soon from this senseless war.

    November 20, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  14. Iowa Mom

    I wish you well Beau and thank you for your service to our country. May God bless you and keep you safe.

    November 20, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. Sharon Moore

    God bless you Beau and all the men and women serving our country in places known and unknown.

    November 20, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. happy thanksgiving

    be safe brave one.

    November 20, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  17. Larry

    Your a LOT safer with Bush than your going to be when daddy gets into office !!!

    November 20, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  18. JJ

    Best wishes goes out to Biden and the entire family and to all the brave soldiers who are fighting. May God bless each and every one of you. Be safe!

    November 20, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. Lisa

    Family is so much more important. Missed a once in a life time to be with and partake of the great change that is coming. Why for political reason? You dont have to prove nothing only to God and self always know that.

    November 20, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. Jeff

    biden's son will never leave the green zone. He is a desk jockey who is there to prosecute marines. Palin's son is with a combat unit. McCain's son was in a combat unit. Brave are you kidding me he isn't fighting in combat. He is less brave than the reporters who go out. Biden's son will be in the green zone the whole time.

    November 20, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  21. Jan/michigan

    I have empathy for Biden re: his son as I have had family who have fought for freedom for America. That is why I am heartbroken that Obama is our President instead of McCain who knows what to do and loves America.

    November 20, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. Mickie

    Beau's good character speaks volumes about his parents. God be with Beau and all our brave military throughout the year.

    November 20, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. Ed

    Hey Ron,

    Your post shows your ignorance of today's military. I served in a signal battalion as an enlisted man and got shot at too. One no longer has to be infantry, armor or other direct combat specialties
    to be in grave danger when deployed over seas.

    November 20, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  24. Dan

    Biden got five draft deferments even though he was a swimmer and athlete. Biden made up stories how he was shot at in iraq and his plane was forced down in afghanistan.

    McCain's son was in a combat unit in iraq but never talked about it. Biden did use his son for politicall points he spoke at the going away ceremony. McCain didn't because he didn't want to use his son.

    November 20, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. Lewis

    This comment is for Ron...............you really are showing your ignorance! Having served in Iraq and Afghanistan, you are always in harms way! At some point, he must travel via a convoy into the area. Please stop with the negative comments. How about this, why don't you go to Iraq and let's see how you feel?

    November 20, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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