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Dr. Biden Thanks Sailors for Service, Sacrifice

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2011 – Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, today visited with military members serving aboard the USS Ramage that’s anchored off the southern coast of Greece.

Biden is in Greece to lead the U.S. delegation at the Special Olympics in Athens.

“I am looking forward to watching the games and cheering the incredible athletes,” she said in her prepared remarks. “But I never miss a chance to visit with members of the military and their families, so I was thrilled when Secretary [of the Navy Ray] Mabus invited me to spend time with you here on the USS Ramage.”

Biden used the opportunity to reassure the sailors that their loved ones are thinking about them and anticipating their return.

“I am inspired by all of you. And I am inspired by your families,” she said. “Whether they are your wives or girlfriends, your moms and dads, your children or your grandparents -- they all think about you every day. And they await your safe return home.”

The USS Ramage, commanded by Navy Cmdr. Erik J. Eslich, deployed last month from Naval Station Norfolk, Va. The destroyer, and its 250 crew members, operates in the Sixth Fleet area of responsibility, where it provides deterrence and humanitarian and disaster response as necessary, promotes peace and security, and preserves freedom of the seas.

Biden, whose son had deployed to Iraq with the Delaware National Guard, also let the group know they have advocates working tirelessly to ensure the American public doesn’t forget them or their families.

“I know that you cannot focus on your job here unless you know your families back home are taken care of,” she said.

Biden said she and first lady Michelle Obama are “working hard to make sure the country understands what you do. And we are encouraging individuals, groups and businesses to join forces with us to support you and your families.

“The first lady and I are spreading the word to all Americans that everyone can play a part in making our military families feel appreciated and supported,” Biden added.

As Biden finished her remarks, she thanked the military members for their service to the nation.

“On behalf of the president, the first lady, my husband Joe and myself, I want to thank you for your service and your sacrifice. The work that each and every one of you does is critical to our national security,” she said.

“You and your families make us proud -- and I am honored to have the chance to visit with you today.”


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