January 16th, 2009
01:35 PM ET
13 years ago

Biden's son back from Iraq for the inauguration

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/16/art.bidens0116.gi.jpg caption="Beau Biden has returned from Iraq in order to see his father sworn in as vice president on Tuesday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The son of Vice President-elect Joe Biden has returned from Iraq to the United States to attend the inauguration of his father and President-elect Barack Obama, a military spokesman said.

Beau Biden, who deployed to Iraq as a captain in the National Guard, is in the United States on temporary duty, said Lt. Col. Leonard Gratteri, a spokesman for the Delaware National Guard.

Biden plans to take several days of leave to attend inaugural events, he said.

The president-elect and vice president-elect are scheduled to take their oaths of office in Washington on Tuesday.

Updated: 1:35 p.m.

Filed under: Beau Biden • Joe Biden • Popular Posts
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. Ralph

    Did Obama serve in the military or peace corp. or anything that served the people?

    Yes, he did. After graduating from an Ivy League university, he committed himself to working in Chicago's poorest neighborhoods to help the people struggling from the closure of factories and other jobs.

    Any more questions?

    January 16, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Mike, Syracuse NY

    The DOD policy for military in IRAQ is that if they are on at least 12 month deployment orders, they are entitled to one 15 day R&R period back to the US. with the cost of transport paid for by the military. The member must have been in-country for at least 60 days, and have at least 60 days left in his/her deployment. Capt. Biden appears to meet these rules.

    @ Terry and others whining about Bush's National Guard service, at least he did serve; which is more than Obama, Biden Sr. or most members of Congress can say.

    January 16, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. johnvet

    Chuck, shut up. It shows you know nothing abut the military.

    Your leadeship is lacking if on a special occasion they won't let you come home.

    This of course goes hand in hand with PRIOR PLANNING. I had 2 kids born while deployed and knowing this I held up my R&R the first time until my seventh month of deployment and the second time I actually took my R&R on month five and made it back on time both times.

    If Biden's son were to come back again for R&R I might see a problem, but that is later down the line.

    January 16, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. Corey of Orygun

    January 16th, 2009 12:36 pm ET

    Chuck, Tennessee January 16th, 2009 11:46 am ET


    It hurts the morale of our troops when they see a person get special treatment because of who they are. Military members are away from their families for months at a time, miss their children's births, first steps, first words, birthdays, graduations, and the list goes on and on. If you don't know what it is like to serve your country and make these sacrifices, then just SHUT UP!

    Now, as someone who has served and made these sacrifices, I must say that THIS STINKS!

    Wait a 2nd there.

    You are saying because i haven't served in the US military, then I should not comment on this issue?

    Well then, if you do not have a degree in the physical sciences, you shouldn't comment about global warming. If you don't have a degree in biology, you should comment about evolution. Moreover, if you don't have a degree in economics, you shouldn't comment about the economy, or Obama's plans for the US economy. To go a little further, if you haven't watched someone die of terminal illness, you shouldn't comment on the "right to die" issue.

    You my friend, are the one whom should think before you type.

    January 16, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. IndyVoter


    Hey Matt:

    And you've been the President-Elect exactly how many times? You graduated from where with a degree in what? You've been a member of which Branch of National Government?...Don't criticize a man's shoe size if you can't fit them. And If anyone needs to read literature for "dummies", based on your comment, you just might want to take a long look in the mirror.

    January 16, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. Dem

    Nice special treatment.
    Maybe Joe Biden and BHO can bring my husband home to see his child born.

    January 16, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. antillian

    Man! you got to love the bushies on this blog. You even hate the fact that an Iraq soldier is here on TEMPORARY DUTY...... yes you read right..... DUTY! For those with I.Q. above 80 that means .........STILL WORKING. And the repubs. still asking why the world doesn't take them serious ha ha ha ....ha to funny for words how people can hate because of ignorance. Stop hating right wing yanks the civ. world is very happy with Obama.......this coming from a center right type of foreigner before I get labeld pinky left ,liberal, socielite or any other wrong description repubs use to feel good about themselves. From the world to the yanks........have a nice day.

    January 16, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Joyce Becker

    I am very glad that he will be able to watch his father being sworn in as Vice President, a wonderful moment for the the country and the Biden family. Let us hope that all of our service will be able to come home for good from that ill-begotten war in Iraq.

    January 16, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. Kendra, NY

    I like Beau and I hope he enjoys the inaugural. He has served his country in Iraq and it will be nice to take a break.

    Kudos to Joe Biden and Beau for a job well done.

    January 16, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |

    susie-did you serve in the mililtary or for your country at all?

    January 16, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. Gloria - Minnesota

    Why am I still in moderation? It has been hours!!!! I certainly don't write comments that deserve censorship!!

    January 16, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. gray in MD

    WOW @ bill

    "waiting for moderation"...

    so is mine. Intense?... probably.
    harsh?... so what???

    not one curse word

    wow cnn

    January 16, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. gray in MD

    OMG ppl..
    Im sure there are times that u wanted to use ur personal time at work but NO was the answer because it wasnt a good time for the business. maybe time off was rejected for some soldiers because it was an intense time of war..

    Many bloggers toss who has and who has not served our military. I am very thankful and blessed for all our troops. However, i'll serve our military when the threat is right here on our own land. i think its ridiculous that all of our "wars" have been on other's land. since when is it necessary to defend american liberties on foriegn soil?????? how the heck does that makes sense? get em b4 they get us?? is that the strategy??? Diplomacy before hostility.

    January 16, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. Robert (AT2, USN)

    It seems to me that having your father sworn is as VP is a bit more historic than having a child born, graduate, etc...

    As far as the "cost to the taxpayers" BS, do people actually think that we sent Air Force One to go pick Biden up from Iraq??? Of course not...there are daily flights from Iraq back to Germany back to the states. They put him on one of those, and if you read the article, he's on TAD while he's back here, so he'll even be put to work, probably in recruiting or PR.

    I think it's great that the VP's son is serving in Iraq, and it will be good to have him visible at the Inaguration. This sends a big message to the country, that nobody is too good to serve.

    January 16, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. rena

    too am a military spouse and I totally disagree with this. If soldiers can't be home to support their spouse at the birth of a child or a serious illness such as cancer, then Beau should be just like the rest watching from the TV screen in Iraq.

    I'm not sure who wrote that he took his leave now instead of later. But you don't know what you are talking about. Officers don't take leave until all enlisted soldies have taken leave first. Beau should not be on leave this soon; secondly you don't take leave when you want when deployed. You take it at the alloted time given to you.

    January 16, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Boston Irish

    @Jackie in Dallas – So, if McCain and Palin had won, would you who are complaining be saying the same thing if Palin's son got leave to come home for it?

    No, probably not, but you that are saying that is great Biden gets to come home for the inauguration, wouldn't be praising Palin's son either.

    Personally, I don't think it's fair for someone from either party to get special treatment because of who your father/mother is.

    January 16, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  17. rena

    I too am a military spouse and I totally disagree with this. If soldiers can't be home to support their spouse at the birth of a child or a serious illness such as cancer, then Beau should be just like the rest watching from the TV screen in Iraq.

    I'm not sure who wrote that he took his leave now instead of later. But you don't know what you are talking about. Officers don't take leave until all enlisted soldies have taken leave first. Beau should not be on leave this soon; secondly you don't take leave when you want when deployed. You take it at the alloted time given to you.

    January 16, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. MD

    I guess there is one treatment for Americans and other treatment for government employees family members.

    January 16, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. SGT (R) Jim Mitchell

    As a military veteran and as an individual who has deployed numerous time to hot spots around the globe, I am offended that Biden's son was sent home to attend the Presidential Inauguration. There has been thousands of service members who have been deployed who have missed very important milestones in their lives like the birth of their children, first birthday, first Christmas, etc. Why should this particular serviceman be given special treatment. He can watch it on CNN like the rest of the military deployed abroad.

    January 16, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. Independent Again

    Of course this is special treatment. It does not matter which sides it is coming fr it is still special treatement!!

    I love all you people (like Jackie) pointing out suppositions to justfy their positions.

    You cannot justify bad behavior with other bad behavior!

    I have family serving and have not had leave for 2 yrs! Biden son was there not even 6mths and he is already on leave. How is that fair? It is true that most military people are missing important milestone in their families' lives. Why should Biden's son be any different?

    January 16, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. Boston Irish

    @Indyvoter, simply because someone thinks Obama needs a "DUMMIES FOR PRESIDENT" book, doesn't mean he is not intelligent. You talked to him like he wasn't. For all you know he may have been working on his doctorate while Obama was doing coke. A lot of people think Obama doesn't have a clue about being President. That doesn't mean they are not intelligent. Before this is all over, I think they may even be in the majority. Oh, not being a dummy is not a requirement for being a member of Congress. Don't believe me? Look at all the dummies in congress now trying to prove they are not and definitely NOT succeeding. I'm talking BOTH parties. They can't be too smart being led by Pelosi & Reid.

    January 16, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. Independent Again

    Terry you forget that Clinton dogged the draft!! Do u think Chelsea should be serving as well? What about her expensive colleges. And talk about girls expensive colleges, would expect the same for the Obama girls?

    How ridiculous you are? At least Bush was in National Guard, served and respected his colleagues. Cannot say the same for Obama, or that draft-dodger Clinton or John Kerry who betrayed his fellow servicemen!

    It works both ways OH great Terry!

    January 16, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. Babs

    Oh it's not what you know but who you know.... like he should be "special" Like a and the rumor is that Biden hasn't given up his senate seat becasue he want's his son to have it. Gee isn't that what we want to get away from... Nope just POLITICS as usual.

    January 16, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. ex-Republicant

    I have two sons in the Marine Corp right now. Oldest son did his tours in Iraq and the younger will probably be going in the near future. I am happy that some one, anyone serving gets a break. Sad to see such a bunch of whinners crying about their opinion of what's fair and what's not fair. Biden is proudly serving in a war when he had a lot of opportunity to stay home and safely earn a lot more money. Sorry he's not of your political klan.
    Is it fair that the previous admin had no one in the military, let alone in Iraq? And both of them avoided serving in the conflict of their generation, as so many others who were not of the "social elite" were drafted to go. Cheney had FIVE deferments because he "had [more] important things to do".
    It is great to finally have some one in the executive branch/office with more than votes at risk in our wars. Bunch of neo-con wimps – grow up!

    January 16, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Jacob

    The Bushbots are in full force on here... So Dear, Necons & FundaMENTAL conserviates remember this: your man GWB is the reason your families are in Iraq AND remember this Republicans are the party that wrecked America.

    January 16, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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