DOVER, Del. – A day after the vice presidential candidates’ debate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware took a break from the campaign Friday to bid farewell to a son leaving for military duty in Iraq.
His 39-year-old son, Attorney General Beau Biden of Delaware, is part of a 110-soldier unit of the state’s Army National Guard, the 261st Signal Brigade. The unit, which leaves Sunday for a yearlong tour in Iraq, gathered with family members Friday for a tearful deployment ceremony on a lawn outside the red-brick Capitol.
The Democratic nominee for vice president, known for being talkative, told the crowd that his son gave him sage advice this morning: “Keep it short, Dad. We’re in formation.”
“Never before has a Delaware guard unit been deployed that is better qualified,” Biden said. “You are the best demonstration of both our nation’s greatness, and equally as important, our people’s goodness.”
Biden voted in 2002 to authorize the war in Iraq. Since then, he has sharply criticized the Bush administration’s conduct of the war and called for a withdrawal of U.S. forces. Friday, he said nothing publicly about Iraq.