November 20th, 2008
09:40 AM ET
11 years ago

Beau Biden ships out to Iraq

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Capt. Beau Biden left for Iraq Wednesday with his Delaware National Guard Unit."]
(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.

Filed under: Beau Biden • Joe Biden
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Nan

    There are so many cynical and hateful remarks on this blog. I understand the high feelings during the election but come on people. Some individuals on here must really lead sad lonely lives.

    November 20, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  2. Joe

    He is a JAG officer, he will be safe...and with that legal background, in a great position to come back and follow in Dad's footsteps – politics.

    November 20, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. A Really Conservative Realist

    Best wishes to Beau and thanks for your willingness to serve.....even though your dad will be a cowardly vice-commander-in-chief.

    November 20, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Caroline

    To the Ignorant Don:
    A true patriot is loyal even under disagreeable circumstances. While the war in Iraq has been anything but necessary, the truth is that Beau Biden is selflessly serving our country and rather than being cynical, rude or disrespectful (including the comments about Palin's son in Iraq) we should pay tribute to him and all troops. I pray God's hand of protection guide them.

    November 20, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. John E Lexington KY

    Given his character I wish he was taking a Senate appointment, he would be more useful there. Comparisons to Palen – who's son dropped out of high school – are odious.

    November 20, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. Praetorian

    Adios Amigos!!

    We'll keep your lobbying job open.

    November 20, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. CanIcallyouJoe

    Get out of Iraq. Now.

    Fuhrer Bush invaded Iraq and Afghanistan illegally and we should not still be there, much less sending in more troops to die for his personal profit.

    Stop the senseless killing.

    November 20, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. Mohsen Emami

    I have personally been very interested in Joe Biden for number of years for reasons of my own. Now I am also proud of his son Beau Biden who has gone to Iraq to serve his country. And as a father of a son, I wish Beau the best of luck in Iraq and God bless him and God return him safely to this country and his father.

    November 20, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  9. Ann

    To those complaining about the way either Biden or Palin handled their son's going off to war, be a little respectful please. Palin's son is off to face actual combat duty at a young age while Biden's son is off to probably the Green zone to be a JAG attorney and work with other soldier's legal problems and will probably never see or be near a combat zone. If the two handled the deployment in a different manner they have every right to. There is danger everywhere there but the two circumstances of the sons are totally different. I wish them both a safe and speedy return along with all the others serving over there.

    November 20, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. BBB

    The ignorance & arrogance by some of you is frightening... whatever happened to being an AMERICAN forget being a republican or democrat?!

    November 20, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  11. Steven

    To Jan/Michigan, Larry and Ron,

    If you have nothing good to say, please keep quiet. I just got back from Iraq, I didn't feel safer even with Bush as my Commander (Larry.) ,and if McCain cares so much about this country why are we in Iraq (Jan) and anyone in the theatre of operations is in harms way. Even the green zone gets hit by mortars often (Ron).

    November 20, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  12. Bubba

    Ouch – let's all just keep this quiet. They tend to target highly visible people. That's hard on everyone nearby.

    November 20, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Beau Biden sounds like he has his priorities set up and good to go. He knows what his job is and plans on doing it (presumable) without question. I wonder what his future plans are. He could be a great model for the future.

    November 20, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  14. Jozee


    You are one sick puppy by saying that Beau Biden will be less safe now under GWB than after his dad takes office. It was Bush and Cheney who got us into this mess in the first place based solely on Bush's desire to be manufacture greatness. Thank goodness it is only 61 more days before we are done with the Bush, the man, but not the messes he created.

    I'm believing that all our brave soldiers will be kept safe and brought home alive and in one piece. President Elect Obama has placed national security as a top priority and as a true Commander in Chief, he will protect our soldiers as well.

    God bless you, Beau and all of our soldiers!

    November 20, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. Jay

    Hundreds of soilders ship out to our two war zones each and every day. Thoudands of wounded soilders return to this country each day in worse shape than when they went. Why is this news? I applaud Beau for taking no special treatment, but heknew going in that this was possible.

    November 20, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  16. Alex

    Palin's son is a high school dropout who went in to the army as an alternative to flipping burgers. Beau is a lawyer who voluntarily stays in the army because he wants to serve his country. And to Ron:

    There is no safe place in Iraq. As someone noted, any travel is dangerous, and bombings are everywhere.

    I've served-23 years Army -Active Duty

    Ron-how many years have you served?

    November 20, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  17. elizabeth

    i agreed with Nan.

    November 20, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  18. Christine

    Most people might offer words of encouragement or gratitude, and not let politics get in the way of basic human principles.
    Congrats on being so unique. You should be proud.

    November 20, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  19. Sue

    I pray that Obama finds a way to being ALL the troops home safely, and end this money and oil-driven war. Bush and Cheney need to tried for war crimes against humanity, and the killing must stop. God is not blessing America over this atrocity nor any other war.

    November 20, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. OIF/OEF Veteran

    I can't believe the nerve of some you people! Regardless of your views, he's still a Soldier in the Best military on Earth and him along with more of OUR sons & daughters are about to go into harms way! For any of our uniformed personnel going into harms way, you should be praying for their safe return.

    God speed to them and Bless their families for their strength during this deployment. May all our uniformed personnel come home soon, come home safe!


    November 20, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  21. Rave

    May God bless you and your family. Your family represents True America. We stand by you Beau
    Kick some A.. and come back home safe.

    November 20, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  22. imnotblack

    although i hate joe bidden and would love to dress him up in a suit and have him sent to iraq, i have to thank beau for what he is doing.

    November 20, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  23. Ms. M

    God speed to you all! Thank you all for serving our country!!!!

    November 20, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  24. Danielle, TX

    Best of luck to you, Beau. And, thank you so much for fighting for our country.

    November 20, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  25. Abyssinian Lion

    Stay safe Beau, you are in my prayers. Pres Obama and VP Biden will bring you brave soldiers home soon.

    November 20, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
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