(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.
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.
WILMINGTON, Delaware (CNN) –- It will be a very public good-bye for Joe Biden and his eldest son, Beau: on Friday, the Delaware senator will address the deployment ceremony of his son’s National Guard unit as they prepare to leave for a tour of duty in Iraq.
Following Thursday night’s debate with Sarah Palin in St. Louis, Biden will fly back to Delaware to spend one last day with his 39 year-old son before his deployment to Iraq as a trial counselor in the 261st Signal Brigade, a unit that specializes in providing communications for the military in Iraq.
Friday morning, Biden will join the rest of Delaware’s congressional delegation and Gov. Ruth Ann Minner in speaking to the 110 members of the unit. Despite increased interest and security because Biden is now a vice presidential nominee, the public affairs officer for the unit insists the ceremony will be no different, and not political.
“Our ceremony will be the same as any other unit leaving,” said Lt. Col. Len Grattieri. “We’re not planning anything different or special, it’s going to be a nice respectful ceremony.”
Biden said his son will be deployed to Iraq.
(CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told a crowd at the Iowa State Fair Thursday that his son will be deployed to Iraq.
Beau Biden, Delaware’s attorney general, is a captain in the Army National Guard. His unit has been notified that it should be prepared to deploy in 2008.
“He’ll go…I don’t want him going,” the Delaware senator told the crowd. “But I don’t want my grandsons or granddaughters going back in 15 years. So how we leave makes a big difference.”
The Delaware senator’s son was in attendance as Biden addressed the crowd in Des Moines.
Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Duncan Hunter also have sons who have either served or have been called for duty in Iraq.
UPDATE: The Biden campaign tells CNN his son’s unit was placed on the activated list 2-3 weeks ago. There is no firm date for him to report yet.
UPDATE II: Delaware National Guard's Col. Len Gratteri confirms to CNN that Sen. Joe Biden's son, military lawyer Beau Biden, is scheduled to be deployed to Iraq in the early months of 2008.
Captain Biden is a Judge Advocate General in the 261st signal brigade of the Delaware National Guard.
Col. Gratteri was unsure of what kind of mission Biden would be doing, but said that his unit is preparing to deploy to Iraq.
– CNN's Mark Norman and Katy Byron