'Second Lady' Attends Fort Bragg Homecoming
By U.S. Army Pfc. Casey A. Collier
American Forces Press Service
FORT BRAGG, N.C., Apr. 9, 2009 Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, attended the Welcome Home Ceremony for the 18th Airborne Corps yesterday at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, meets with wives of recently redeployed XVIII Airborne Corps soldiers, April 8, 2009, at the XVIII Airborne Corps Parade Grounds at Fort Bragg, N.C. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Casey A. Collier
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Biden, who earned her doctorate in Education from the University of Delaware in 2007, sat in the V.I.P. gallery for the duration of the ceremony, which included presenting the combat streamer to the colors of the Corps and awards to Corps soldiers for valorous service, including six Bronze Stars and one Award of Merit.
Biden is not only a champion of military families and advocate of troop-support groups like Delaware Boots on the Ground, she also is a mother of a soldier currently serving in Iraq.
Army Capt. Beau Biden, Delaware attorney general, is assigned to the 261st Signal Brigade's Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He deployed to Iraq in October for a 12-month tour.
Biden has made issues concerning military families one of her top priorities.
“One of the things Michelle (Obama) and I are trying to do is create awareness of what our troops are doing, in that we are at war," Biden said. "And the average American might think about that once in a while, but I know that the families of military members think about it almost every moment of every day. I know, as a military mom myself, how many times a day I stop and think about it.”
“Two weeks ago," she noted, "I was traveling and a woman came up to me with her two small children and she said, ‘I just wanted you to know that every night, my children and I pray for your son’ and just that kindness meant so much to me.”
She went on to say, “If every American could just reach out to a military family—whether that means sending a card, saying ‘Thank you for your service’, mowing their lawn, or taking over a batch of cookies—anything to say ‘Thank you for what you’re doing’. I think that’s what it’s all about.”
The ceremony concluded following the vice president's address to soldiers and their families, after which officials ushered his wife to a tent behind the covered pavilion where she met wives of recently redeployed Corps soldiers.
Biden shook hands and exchanged remarks with the women in attendance and spoke at relative length with those who wished to voice specific concerns.
Among those was Lisa Taylor, wife of a Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 18th Airborne Corps soldier. “It’s nice that she’s all about feelings," Taylor said of Biden. "She is very supportive of military communities and military children.”
(U.S. Army Pfc. Casey A. Collier is assigned to the 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)