October 1st, 2008
04:10 PM ET
12 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. jm from sc

    May God be a fence around Biden and his family.

    October 1, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    This is great and great timing, to boot: with this noble endeavor on his schedule Friday, Sen. Biden will rise and soar so far above Simple Sarah Palin tomorrow night. May God Bless your son, Senator Biden and bless you, too as you and Senator Obama move closer to election time.
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 & '12 YES WE CAN!!!!

    October 1, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  3. Barney

    Come home safely, Beau.

    October 1, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  4. Stacy from Loudoun County Virginia

    Good luck Beau. Thank you for your service to our country. Give`em hell Joe...we are doing our best here to get VA a nice shade of blue.

    October 1, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. Cuban-mami-4-OBAMA

    Thanks Joe for your son's sacrifice for our Nation.

    Godspeed Beau...... and may ALL our troops be safe!

    October 1, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. Teresa of Orange County



    October 1, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. Chamorrita60



    October 1, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. s

    At least the Repubs can't use this as showing Biden is or has unpatriotic connections. Or maybe they will anyways... After all, the Swift Boaters did.

    October 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  9. Rebekah A.

    May God bless Beau and the entire Biden Family.

    October 1, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. Deb, Allentown,PA

    Hopefully Beau and the rest of our soldiers can come home sooner, or go to Afghanistan where their service is needed and wanted.

    October 1, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. maria Mtl, Can.

    May god bless him and his family

    October 1, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    God bless you Beau...

    October 1, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    No biden and no obama

    No I don't want Obama who will raise our taxes and give our money to the Welfare Queens.

    Thanks but no thanks,

    I am for McCain who shares our values and will protect our country.

    Obama is a pacifist of the first order.

    October 1, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  14. PUMBU


    October 1, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  15. Beverly, NYC

    Good Luck Beau, come home save. We will be their for your Dad on 11/4.

    October 1, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  16. Thomas

    I wish his son a safe deployment. Beau, thank you for your service to our country. It is appreciated and honoured.

    Come home safe.

    October 1, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. CLS in VT

    God Speed Beau!

    October 1, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  18. MLG

    Good luck, Beau. Come home safely. We will be praying for you.

    October 1, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Marsha (Atlanta)

    May God protect you and the Troops...God Bless

    October 1, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  20. REAL Christian for OBAMA

    McSame.....If you want Obama to win 45 states on election night.....keep up the negative ads. You are only "Palin Yourself" more! ! ! !

    New catch phrase "He Pulled A PALIN ! ! ! ! !"

    October 1, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  21. C W

    Godspeed, Beau, and thank you for serving your country.

    October 1, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. SB FROM GA



    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 '12

    October 1, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  23. As the 'Paign Turns

    Good luck to Beau Biden and thank you for your service. Be safe. And good luck to Senator Biden for his debate tomorrow night. He doesn't really need it, but a little extra luck never hurts.

    Go Joe!

    October 1, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. We love Sarah

    Obama knew a preacher who is angry at the American government and his is ruled out to be President.

    McCain along with Bush and Cheney started a war that costs over 4,175 Americans lives, over 4,200 alied member lives, and over 150,000 Iraqi lives, along with over 600,000,000,000 dollars of current debt to the world; and people want to make him President!

    October 1, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. Sara, Wisconsin

    You've shown howo much your sons mean to you – may Beau come home safely and bring his unit safely with him.


    October 1, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
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