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Vice President, Dr. Biden Visit Service Members in Hawaii

From a White House Media Pool Report

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2013 – During a stop in Hawaii on their way home from an overseas trip that took them to India and Singapore, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, took time to visit with more than 500 service members and their families at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Vice President Joe Biden speaks to service members and their families during a USO-sponsored barbecue at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, July 27, 2013. During the visit, Biden highlighted the sacrifices of military members and their families as well as the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Johans Chavarro

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Telling the audience that they are “equal to any Americans gone before you,” Biden said he had seen the service members in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“You and your families are part of an unbroken chain of patriots that have stood guard over the Pacific since that day of infamy in 1941,” he said, referencing the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The vice president said America’s strength in the Pacific has never been greater, and he talked about plans for a Pacific alliance from Chile to Indonesia. The Pacific basin “is where the future lies,” he added.

“We are, and will remain, a resident Pacific power,” Biden said.

Because of the stability provided by the U.S. military in the Pacific, other countries, including China, India, Indonesia and Singapore, have been able to grow, the vice president said.

In her remarks, Dr. Biden thanked the USO for hosting the barbecue where she and her husband spoke.

“The USO is such a great organization,” she said. “I’ve worked with them many times, and they do really wonderful things.” She also spoke about “Joining Forces,” a program she created with First Lady Michelle Obama that is dedicated to bringing Americans together to recognize, honor and take action to support veterans and military families.

The vice president’s wife asked the Hawaii families for input and said, “So it’s those kinds of things that I can take back and Michelle and I would be happy to work on them for you.”

In Singapore, the vice president spoke to sailors at Changi Naval Base aboard the USS Freedom, the first of four new littoral combat ships expected to be deployed there rotationally. 

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