October 1st, 2008
04:10 PM ET
13 years ago

Biden to address son’s deployment ceremony

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/01/art.beau.joe.biden.jpg caption="Sen. Joe Biden will see his son Beau off on Friday at the deployment ceremony."]
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.”

Grattieri said that the last time Biden — who has often spoken at deployment ceremonies - addressed a departing unit was 18 months ago, and that he usually roots his remarks in foreign policy, offering his perspective on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Beau Biden – a captain in the National Guard and Delaware’s attorney general – doesn’t ship out right away. Instead he heads to Fort Bliss, Texas this weekend where his unit completes assigned tasks and receives additional training specific to the conditions in Iraq. Then in six to eight weeks they ship out to Iraq.

Grattieri couldn't say where Beau will be based but his role will be that of a prosecutor enforcing the  Uniform Code of Military Justice. He added that positions aren't clearly defined, the unit will do whatever the Army needs them to.

The Democratic VP nominee has been trying to balance debate prep with family time. Tuesday afternoon, Biden took a break and went out to lunch with Beau, Beau’s wife Hallie and the couple’s young daughter.

Aides say it’s been a tough week for Biden, with Beau’s departure weighing on him. Biden said in an interview Tuesday that he is proud of his son, but wishes he weren’t going.

Palin’s 19 year-old son Track, an infantry soldier, deployed to Iraq with his Army unit on September 11.

If all goes as planned, Beau Biden’s tour will last a year, and he will return home in September 2009.

Filed under: Beau Biden • Joe Biden
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Jim

    NObama is just "Biden" his time before loosing this election!

    October 1, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  2. Chuck

    At least the REMF is serving, his father sure didn't!!!

    October 1, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  3. Noemi in Los Angeles

    May God protect our troops.

    October 1, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  4. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Before any right wingers start complaining, Sarah Palin addressed her son's deployment ceremony too.

    October 1, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  5. Arthur James

    As Sen. Obama pointed out in his democratic debates: Sen. Biden did vote for this war. I just hope he doesn't have to pay the same price so many of us have by losing a family member in Iraq. God be with you, Beau.

    October 1, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  6. Proud Army Mom from Florida

    May God's mantle of protection cover Beau, my son who deployed to Iraq last week and all our brave troops wherever they serve. I trust Senators Obama and Biden to provide us with the type of responsible leadership our country has been lacking for the past seven plus years.

    October 1, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  7. Independent Voter

    Godspeed, Beau! You take care of yourself!

    October 1, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  8. ohio


    October 1, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  9. Anonymous in CO

    My thoughts and prayers go to the Biden family. May Beau and all of our wonderful brave men and women fighting in Iraq come home safe. The sooner the better. Thank you Beau for serving our wonderful nation!!

    October 1, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  10. Sandy

    Bless you Beau...Sorry that you have to go. Return Safely.

    October 1, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  11. PoliticoMike

    Beau Biden for Pres in 8 years!

    October 1, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    looking forward to the debate tomorrow night ....go Joe!!!!!!.i'll be thinking about your family on friday....

    October 1, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  13. Kate Fergus

    Let's hope all the troops come home to their families very soon. Many families have been torn apart unnecessarily for a war that was started by a lie. It is time to stop sacrificing the lives of our young men and women. God Bless all of them including Joe's and Sara's sons. Let' pray they all come home safely soon.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 1, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  14. michael

    I love people with an OBJECTIVE view of the wars and the world who also balance that with the always present need for service. I could not personally fight a war I disagree with so thoroughly, however, but families who disagree with the war and still fight it and still wish to help until we find its end impress me to no avail.
    I hope for nothing but your safety and I and all others who disagree with what your great resource has been contracted out to do will continue to fight for you, because you deserve better.
    Biden will help us lead that.
    Obama will help us lead that.
    We all deserve better, soldiers more than anyone else in the nation.

    October 1, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
1 2 3 4 5