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. Matt

    Let's Make this very clear.... Beau is the Attorney General for the state. He is in the reserves and even when given special permission to be with his family for the election night he chose not to.

    This man is doing something very honorable that many of us, including myself, wouldn't do. So lay off him. WIsh him luck and a safe return home like the rest of our troops including Gov. Palin's son.

    Why are people so cynical when it comes to our troops?

    November 20, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. rob

    Folks, can we please stop politicizing this post?

    All we should say is: Godspeed Cpt. Biden!

    November 20, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. Marie

    I find it interesting how many people send god's blessings or pray to god for a safe return while remembering there is a whole region in the Middle East doing the same thing only on behalf of the people fighting against American soldiers.

    Just my opinion but if there ever was or is a god then I really don't think there would be a war. Kind of hard to reconcile the two points.

    November 20, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. Robert The Man


    November 20, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. PA Independent

    Wow, some folks on here are pure unadulterated haters. A young man is leaving with many other young men and women to serve his country in uniform. Can't some people put their sheer venom, hatred and poison aside long enough to have a little respect, regardless of party affiliation, for our troops and the sacrifices they and their families make? It's sickening.

    November 20, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. AEK

    What a great forum for taking cheap partisan shots at people! Unless I missed something I believe that Beau Biden has already addressed the question about being appointed as his father's replacement in the Senate, he asked that his name be removed from consideration. He also declined an opportunity to leave his unit training in Colorado to go to Chicago for the election night festivities. I thought that act alone showed a great deal of character.

    So, how about all the hate mongers and Rush Lamebrain fans find something else to spew their vile rhetoric on for today,

    November 20, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. idm

    My goodness. The hate and anger from you people amazes and sickens me. Here is a young man, going to Iraq where NO area is 'safe', even the green zone. He's putting his life on the line, along with thousands of others to support a political rival's policies because he is, first and foremost, an American. I don't support W, and I want to see these men and women come home asap. But to label him a coward (Ron) or to suggest that his father can 'pull strings' to get him out (Don) or to politicize this in any way shows the ignorance that has plagued this country since W took office.

    From LIsa- "Family is so much more important. Missed a once in a life time to be with and partake of the great change that is coming. Why for political reason? You dont have to prove nothing only to God and self always know that." HUH????? Learn to properly construct a sentance, please!!!!

    November 20, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. Maria

    Be safe Beau your in our heart and mind god bless you plus all our troops

    November 20, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. God Bless America

    God's speed to Beau and the Biden family.

    November 20, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. JLP (HI)

    I agree with BBB. To those with hateful comments towards Beau Biden, you absolutely should be ashamed of yourselves. In no way should your feelings toward the results of election day serve as a hateful platter towards BEAU. I am currently in the military and am dissapointed to see these hateful comments coming from the very people whom we serve. You should think twice about your patriotism towards our country if it is only reduced to a division of red and blue...

    November 20, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Fla. Voter

    Godspeed Beau Biden and all our servicemen & women. Here's praying for your safe return.

    November 20, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. ryan in ohio

    I completely disagree with Joe Biden and his politics. I hate his toothy grin that is perfectly mocked on SNL. I can't stand rhetoric, pandering, and complete lack of charity as evidenced by his disclosed finances. I would shake his hand at a chance meeting, but I'd feel dirty afterwards.

    However, I am grateful and thankful that he has raised an honorable son who has the courage and ability to serve this country. I absolutely commend him for that and for his commitment to do what is right.

    Even more, I'm grateful that his son is willing to serve. God bless.

    November 20, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. tom

    i was talking to this guy today and he had the nerve to say that the only true americans are people that voted republican.....and statements like that are why the republicans have lost in landslides this year and in 2006.

    November 20, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. rbinny

    Don November 20th, 2008 9:37 am ET

    Say it ain't so Joe. OMG you mean you are letting your son go to a war your not for? Where is the Political unrest now? You have the power Joe, maybe you can pull a string or two and have him doing something non combative.

    November 20, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. rbinny

    Don November 20th, 2008 9:37 am ET

    Say it ain't so Joe. OMG you mean you are letting your son go to a war your not for? Where is the Political unrest now? You have the power Joe, maybe you can pull a string or two and have him doing something non combative.
    Maybe he should ask Mitt Romney for advice on how to keep his kid from serving his country

    November 20, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. wakeupamerica

    Be safe and God be with you Beau.

    November 20, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Jan/michigan

    Steven–my 2 nephews would disagree with you–Obama plans to soft-peddle to the enemy and make it less safe–they think it matters if the POTUS knows how to talk tough with terrorists.

    November 20, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Michael -Ventura,CA

    God's Speed Beau! Be safe and come home soon!

    November 20, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. TyWebb

    Wow! "A Really Conservative Realist", "Don", "Ron", and "Larry" all need to get a room. A rubber room at that! Idiots.

    November 20, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. don

    Good bye Beau! God Speed!!!! And hurry home safe!!!!!!!!!!

    November 20, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. Ken in NC

    I did not serve in Iraq but I did in Viet Nam and I can tell you that the only safe place in a war zone is "OUT OF IT". Biden is serving his country for what ever reason and he is to be honored for his service. You do not have to like or respect the man but remember that he is an American Serviceman so please respect the uniform and what it represents. OUR SECURITY.

    Right or wrong, it is his duty to follow all legal orders. Pray for him. Pray for them all and if you are not a person of faith at least wish him a safe return.

    November 20, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. recycle washington

    Obama u fooled me........

    so much for new ideas/new people.........

    i wish i never voted for u Obama..........................

    CHange=============>> Clintons again

    mitt Romny=========>> how come none of your sons( all 5 ) wanna serve the Country????

    November 20, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Chretien

    Last time I checked the only thing to harm a lawyer was holy water and silver bullets. None of which the other side has in Iraq. See ya BB when you get back. Also, the ladies and the boys have your back. You are never alone.

    November 20, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. Patrick

    Godspeed Beau, and for the rest of you, you should be ashamed to call yourself a citizen of these United States for the way you put down a dedicated serviceman to this country. Regardless of his (or his fathers) political background, you need to be respectful of someone on his way to defend the rights and freedoms that allow us to post our thoughts on a forum like this.

    God bless America, and our troops. Good luck Beau.

    November 20, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. Rob


    He's going over with a JAG unit... means that he'll be practicing law not kicking in doors. That's "non- combative" and in today's world, it's a job that's really needed over there in Iraq. I wish CPT Biden all the luck in the world, hope it goes well.

    November 20, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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