August 16th, 2007
06:18 PM ET
10 years ago

Biden's son to be deployed to Iraq

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

Filed under: Beau Biden • Joe Biden
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. DJ, Los Angeles

    Best wishes to Biden's son. It is bad enough that Joe already lost his wife in an auto accident.

    Since Iraq is an unconventional war...there are no frontlines and thus no soldier is safe.

    Even people like his son whom have auxilliary or support roles are spared not.

    I just pray this war is over soon.

    August 16, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Steve, Houston,TX

    For someone berating others for not "ACTUALLY" reading the news, you're hopelessly wrong yourself. It wasn't a reporter than asked Romney the question it was a citizen in a town hall meeting and the question was, "How do your 5 sons plan to support our troops by enlisting in the military? The question was in the context that Romney has said in the past that if elected president, he would support our troops by expanding the military and sustaining the war in Iraq. The lady questioner was just pointing out the irony of sustaining the war by sacrificing the sons and daughters of others while his own brood was safe at home. Hillary is not campaigning on a war platform and so the question of Chelsea shouldn't logically arise in comparison to Romney's sons. So check your knowledge of the facts first next time you want to deride someone else's comments.

    August 16, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. Marcus, Great Lakes IL

    This message is for Joanne who's son is paying for his medical bills. Please have him contact the VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America) they will try and help him in both his physical and emotional care.

    Good luck.

    Marcus proud member of the VVA

    August 16, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Ryan NY writes, "And that might have been fine had he kept his mouth shut at that point, but you forgot the last part of that quote, you know, the part that's important to my comment"

    I see – because Romney is being ASKED by a reporter about his boys – and he includes in his total answer how he is proud of them, supports them, and appreciates their help in his campaign... THIS is Romney "spouting" off?

    Ryan Ryan Ryan... It is a sad day in American Politics when a father (questioned about his boys) answers with an affirming supportive answer – and later accused of "spouting off" or used by left-leaning pundants as something negative.

    Sad very sad.

    August 16, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Ryan, New York, NY

    He was asked by the sister of a major that had served in Iraq.

    August 16, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. Jim Jones, Bardstown, KY

    Maybe if a presidential canidate's son gets killed, the oval office will open it's eyes and end the evil intentions of Bush and Cheney and their money grubbing ways. NO BLOOD FOR OIL!!!!!!

    August 16, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. Marianne Luongo Lebanon Tn.

    To captain Beau Biden.
    Good Luck to you and all the troops.Our son.Mark Luongo will be deployed in Sept/Oct.We will be praying for him,you and all of our wonderful soldiers and their families.
    Thank you for serving.Sincerely
    Marianne C. Luongo

    August 16, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. Matt O

    Wow, now he joins the countless of other young men over there. I wish I had a front page news article for the couple of times I deployed to the middle east. This is nothing special at all, get it off the front page.

    August 16, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Steve – Houston

    You wrote, "Hillary is not campaigning on a war platform and so the question of Chelsea shouldn't logically arise in comparison to Romney's sons. So check your knowledge of the facts first next time you want to deride someone else's comments."

    So based on your logic (Romney is campaigning on a War Platform – therefore it is ok to question why his INDEPENDENT ADULT sons aren't in the military?)

    I guess then – since Hillary is running on a Platform of Protecting Women's Rights we can ask Hillary what Chelsea is doing to help sexually assaulted women? Women that suffer at the hands of abusers like Chelsea's father?

    August 16, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. Ben Thayer Louisburg, North Carolina

    I wish Senator Bidens son all the best. Like all educated people, I see the terrible flaws this policy has. Unfortunately it has killed thousands of people including thousands of our own soliders. We need to do the right thing here an end this stupid occupation and bring our men and women home.

    August 16, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Joe

    Those who back a war and have children in the military have a tendency to think twice before acting with a knee-jerk reaction and start sending other persons sons and daughters into harms way through a revolving door policy.

    Those who don't have anything to lose, don't seem to care. (Vietnam)

    For anyone who feels that if we pull out we have lost, my comment is, then because we pulled out of Vietnam, all those 58,000 plus, whose names are engraved on that cold, black marble wall in Washington, died for nothing.

    August 16, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. Zack, West Palm, FL

    At least Romney's sons are doing America a great service.

    Biden's kids....whatever

    August 16, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Whit, Dallas, Tx

    In regard to Zach's comment

    'At least Romney's sons are doing America a great service. Biden's kids..whatever'

    One of Biden's kids is going to 'fight' for the country you're privileged enough to live in. That's a bit more important than helping your dad get elected to office. Think about what you're writing before you tip your lack of intelligence.

    August 16, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  14. Casi, Salem, Connecticut

    I am standing behind Joe Biden 100% and I wish his son the best of luck.

    August 16, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  15. Rich, Amherst NH

    There seems to be a lot of theorizing going on regarding the impact or influence that family members serving in the military can or should have on their elected parents' decision-making. With all the questioning and challenging of people’s motivations, obligations and agendas on both sides- it would be interesting to see if posters began including whether they, in fact have ever served, perhaps this might temper some of their own rhetoric. We’re in this together, folks … not for Iraq, but for the long haul! I have long stopped caring why and looking back at all the “could’a, would’a, should’a” and “if only” assessments – save that for the history books because that certainly isn’t leadership. And please enough already … despite what we want, the objective isn’t to get everyone home safe and soon – it’s so the next time we must mobilize, leave families and livelihoods, that enemies respect and fear that strength and resolve. We remain an all volunteer force because there will always be people like you, me, or someone you know – in this case, CPT Biden, who will always find aspects of our way of life worthy of fighting for.

    I personally disagree with Sen. Biden on just about every issue and think he grandstands and is generally disingenuous, but certainly I won't deny him or any parent (of any affiliation) the right of being proud that their son or daughter has answered the "summons of the trumpet" and taken their place in a long and honorable line.

    A very heartfelt thanks to all those who serve both directly in our military and indirectly – provided it is in a positive and constructive way that helps lessen the burden for our country as we look to continue to finish some very challenging and trying tasks.

    U.S. Army

    August 16, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. Adam, Clearwater, FL

    "At least Romney's sons are doing America a great service.

    Biden's kids….whatever

    Posted By Zack, West Palm, FL : August 16, 2007 5:40 pm"

    Is that how you feel about all the kids over there fighting and dying?

    August 16, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. Warren - Denver, CO


    August 16, 2007 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. xtina chicago IL

    Why aren't people who criticize Gov. Romney for his sons not volunteering, also criticizing Hillary Clinton for not sending her daughter to the military? The miltary hire women as well as men.

    August 16, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  19. wendy, nyc

    For those who are lauding Joe Biden for "his sacrifice" I think they have it's his son's sacrifice.

    I wish the kid well, even though I think this war is absolute BS.

    August 16, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. Strider Sulley, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

    It is deeply disturbing that the deployment of Senator Biden's son has been broadcast via the worldwide web. My concern is not with CPT Biden's deployment, but with Senator Biden's blatant disregard for Operational Security. Sen Biden's announcement, regardless of whether it is for pride or political gain, unnecessarily places his son and the soldiers in and around his unit in a magnified state of danger. This broadcast has presented a prime kidnapping target and/or high value target which will further endanger US servicemen. I expect more from a man with his experience and ambition.

    August 16, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  21. stewart wayne new jersey

    well? there you have it, a father, watching his son go to a combat zone as millions of fathers have done before, both public servants, one putting his life on the line.

    August 16, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  22. MamaB, Davenport IA

    CHAIRMAN of the Foreign Relations Committee – Joe Biden has the experience and knowledge of international affairs

    Son being deployed – Joe Biden understands the sacrifice for war

    5 Point Plan for Iraq – Joe Biden is the only candidate with a political strategy out of this mess in the middle east

    Joe Biden- the most qualified candidate for President

    August 16, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  23. Gregory A. Butler, New York, NY

    Is Captain Beau Biden ACTUALLY going to be in combat? Or will he be "in the rear with the gear" like Al Gore was in Vietnam?

    August 16, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  24. Kim Midland MI

    To Jon in Sacremento,

    If women were the primary soldiers and strategists for the war in Iraq, it would freakin BE OVER.

    Why? Because we are the underdogs and the underdogs fight harder. We certainly would not have tolerated something as distasteful as the sacking of Baghdad. What a waste.

    I hope Sen Biden's son has a women superior officer.

    August 16, 2007 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  25. Tom, Texas, USA

    For all of you leftist dimwits unfamiliar with the United States military, Biden's son is a JAG officer. Thus, he has a much greater chance of dieing campaigning in the United States for his fool of a father than he will ever have serving as a worthless lawyer in Iraq. Got it?

    August 16, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
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