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. Donna

    God bless the Biden family, our troops and the families of all our troops!!!!

    October 1, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. RSB

    Such a big deal was made about Palin's son when he left. I was hoping they'd say something about Beau. Good luck to both of them – be safe.

    October 1, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. NC Resident

    If the republicans want to bring out Rev. Wright it's time to bring out the Keating 5. We need a commercial about that. Also let's bring out the things Palin pastor and McCain pastoral endorsers said. That will be great. One Obama pastor to McCain and Palin's 3.

    October 1, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. Silence Dogood

    "May God be a fence around Biden and his family."
    "Sen. Biden will rise and soar "
    "noble endeavor "

    is he becoming a deity like Obama now? We should never bestow sainthood on politicians! Have you ever read ANY history? You must have at least seen a TV show on this.

    Maybe God can coach him on telling the truth while he is at it.

    Vote Green Party – real humans.

    October 1, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. alvino

    Godspeed Beau. Let all the troops know that we pray for them each day.

    October 1, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. Jeff from Jersey

    If nobody joined the National Guard they couldn't be sent to Iraq.If nobody would allow themselves to be sent to Iraq,there wouldn't be a war!I hope they all come home alive and well but it would be better if they stood up as citizens and said:

    HELL NO!
    WE WON'T GO!

    Their Commander in Chief is a lunatic!

    October 1, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. Verouca Salt

    God Speed, Beau Biden! Make us proud.

    October 1, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. elle

    Has anyone forgotten that Gov Palin's son has already shipped out??? May Gof bless EVERYONE"S sons.

    October 1, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  9. ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    Good luck Beau!!

    October 1, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. Susan from Florida

    I too wish that Beau was not going, but wish him God Speed and a safe return.

    October 1, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. maynard hopkins wi



    October 1, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. MBFLA

    I'm sure Joe and Beau have have no intention of causing a scene as Sarah did when her son was ready to be deployed.

    Our thoughts will be with the entire Biden family at this difficult time.

    October 1, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. Beth

    I was so impressed with Beau Biden's speech at the convention. As Delaware's attorney general, he is among our country's next generation of leaders. May he come home safely, and continue to follow his dad's footsteps in public service.

    October 1, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  14. georgia

    May God be with you ,Beau,as well as your Dad & Sen.Obama .

    October 1, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  15. Mike Dallas

    May God go with you Beau, and keep you in the palm of his hand!

    October 1, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  16. FL4OB

    God bless Beau Biden and all of our service men & women.

    Here's praying for a brighter & better America with positive, new leadership.

    Obama/Biden '08
    Yes We Can!

    October 1, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  17. Henrita

    That picture of Joe Biden and his son hugging and kissing at the DNC after his son introduced him was truly a Kodak moment. It's obvious that they have a very special relationship.

    October 1, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Dan in Waukegan

    Thank you for your service. Be safe.

    October 1, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. Wake-up America

    May God bless and keep safe all our troops.

    It's just asame they are fighting a war we should have never been involved in.

    Obama was right McCain/Bush were wrong. Bin Laden is still out there.

    October 1, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. lyn

    Good Luck Beau, and may the Lord bring you back home safely .

    October 1, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  21. Andrea

    God bless you, Beau. Thank you for your service to our country

    October 1, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  22. Frank, Ohio

    It is commendable that his son is going to Iraq. But ,he is going as a trail attorney not a combat soldier.

    October 1, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  23. Dave in Indy

    Bet he doesn't announce that he wished his son chose a better branch like Palin's husband did.

    October 1, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  24. bobbi


    October 1, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  25. MLD

    Thanks for your service Beau and I look forward to having your Dad as the next Vice President. Go Bless You.

    October 1, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
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