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. Michelle

    God be with you and the rest of the men and wmen who is fighting for the freedom for not only thh American people but for people everywhere. Thanks to ALL!!!

    November 20, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. Flo

    Beau may God with His mighty power be with you, and rest of the troops, I am proud to be a citizen of this great country call America.
    I love all the troops .

    God Bless,

    November 20, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. PO'd

    To all of you that know NOTHING about how safe the Green Zone really is, SHUT UP. I had civilian friends there, in the GZ, and they were shot at weekly...if not DAILY.
    As long as you speak non-accented English and/or wear an American Military uniform, YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER!!!
    I just lost a brave memeber of my extended family to that hell hole and I'll be D@MN3D if I'm going to sit by and let you ignorant nimrods say ANYTHING negative about anyone in voluntary service.
    I hate the war, but I love the people that have dedicated themselves to protecting their nation. It should have never happened, but here we are. Let's hope this administration gets it right this time. Jeff, Larry, Jan and the rest of you ignoramuses, bleach your gene pool please. You're dumbing down the population...

    November 20, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Honorable American

    Be safe Beau Biden, we love you.

    Obama/Biden Whoohoo!

    November 20, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. Janet American in Canada

    Our prayers and God speed, to VP-Elect son and all the men and women serving, from all nations around the world. Remember you are always in our hearts and minds.

    November 20, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. bkrane/pgh

    We have no justifiable reason to be in Iraq.

    Joe Biden owes it to his son and everyone else's to bring them home.

    Those of you who have nasty things to say are sub-human.

    November 20, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. ross berg- Buffalo, NY

    Thank you.

    November 20, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Salt

    Proud American from New England November 20th, 2008 10:56 am ET

    And why didn't Bush's kids lift a finger to support their country while Daddy was in office?


    In defense the Bush girls, Jenna has done plenty of work with education and UNICEF, while Barbara worked with AIDS patients throughout Africa.

    November 20, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. caywen

    My prediction: Beau Biden runs for President in 2016 or 2020. He's a perfect pick if Obama's presidency is a good one. He'll carry on the Obama legacy as he carries the Biden name, can't be touched on military experience, and is a pretty handsome dude who doesn't seem to have any real skeletons in his closet.

    Basically, he can be president if he wants to and works at it.

    November 20, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. M. Shaw

    We thank you for your service..and we will pray for you and the other brave women and men who protect us everyday. My cousin is a Marine and is in Iraq with you. May you all come back soon, safe and full of pride that we have in our hearts for you today. God bless you and may this great Nation bless your father and our new President!

    November 20, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Timber

    lol I love this, what a media stunt

    Do you guys think he will be back in time to see a President Palin aka the GOP hillary ;D whom you all love and that is so dear to your hearts beat his dad and the cheater Obama in 2012?

    Oh wouldn't that just get you .. losing to a woman and Palin at that :p
    hey, dn't blame me for our party steering too far from limited government ..

    Good riddance. Like with Hiraldo, "don't come back"

    November 20, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. Milhouse van Houten

    It's posts such as this that really show how much acrimony there exists in the country.The polarization of comments borders on ridiculous, if the stakes weren't set so high,and those stakes are the lives of countless human beings on both sides of a conflict that has no business being waged.Surely you people out there can put aside your partisan differences and all agree that you would like to have the young men and women involved in this fiasco return home safe and sound.No matter whose kids they are.Serving your country is one thing,serving it for all the wrong reasons is entirely different.

    November 20, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. Anne E.

    Soooo.......where are Mitt Romney's flag-waving, "patriotic" sons?
    Beau Biden is a true hero and patriot.

    November 20, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. Bridget

    You haters need to show some respect. This man is serving his country, OUR country, and is willing to die for you undeserving fools. You black hearted keyboard warriors safe in your homes should be thanking God that there are people like Joe Biden's son. Godspeed, Beau Biden.

    November 20, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. Cindy in New York


    My husband is in Iraq....Have you been there? Our government puts out alot of "stories" about what's happenning in Iraq!!! NO WHERE IS SAFE FOR AMERICANS..NO WHERE....



    cnn please post...thank you

    November 20, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Don_N

    God's speed and a safe return. We are proud of you, despite what the haters may say.

    November 20, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. IndyVoter

    God be with you Beau!

    November 20, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. Dana from NY

    Praying for his safe return sooner rather than later!

    November 20, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Marie

    Thank you and God Bless

    November 20, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Ron

    Lets just hope that Beau is not a complete moron as his pop is.

    Remember that Joe Biden voted against the Persian Gulf war in 91 when the worl world supported it and he came up with the cockammaie idea of partitioning iraq into 3 states just recently.

    November 20, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Deb, Allentown,PA

    Wow, I can't believe what I'm reading from both sides here.

    Let's look at this a few ways.

    Palin's son had a choice of the military or jail. He chose the military.

    Biden's son is in the National Guard, albeit in the JAG Corp. But, he's still going to be in country.

    In both cases, we have to respect that their parents could have pulled strings to get them out of service, and neither did. You can question the motives behind this (I did in one case, not the other), but the fact remains that both are standing up for the commitments they made.

    Enough said. Everybody stop and just pray that Palin, Biden and ALL THE OTHERS serving in our military come home safe and sound.

    November 20, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Anna, ATL

    i suppose you guys don't know they are building military bases in Iraq as we type.
    We are not leaving Iraq any sooner than we are leaving Germany.
    Maybe 100 years as McCain said.

    Oh, and guys....Joe Biden did vote for the Iraq invasion.

    What really makes you think these political parties are all that different?

    November 20, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. Barbara CA

    Beau, my father was a minister and this was our favorite Bible verse that he used to pray as a benidiction for us.

    May the Lord bless you and protect you.
    May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
    May the Lord show you his favor and give you peace.
    Numbers 6:24-26 (NLT)

    I pray this for you and your family and for America and the World.

    November 20, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. Chuck

    Joe Biden has more character in his little fingernail than most republicans spewing their hatred here. This man has been through hell and back with his family crisis and now his son being deployed to Iraq. Whether you like Joe Biden personally or not is really of no concern here. It just shows your true hatred of all good people that just don't think the way you do. What's that make you? I think it would be called Mentally Challenged. You know, like the man you voted for the last 8 years.

    November 20, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. special kay

    It's scary to see the venom and hatred spewed on this post. Regardless of how you may view the war, Obama, Biden, Palin's son or Beau, it takes courage/guts to place your life in harms way for your country. SO BACK OFF.

    Thanks to ALL the young men and women fighting to protect our freedoms. May GOD BLESS YOU and YOUR FAMILIES. Safe return.

    November 20, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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