Bidens Celebrate Thanksgiving with Wounded Warriors
By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2010 Nine wounded warriors joined Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden for a Thanksgiving dinner last night in their home at the U.S. Naval Observatory here.
“There’s no way of really thanking you all for the incredible sacrifices you’ve made on behalf of your country,” Biden told the troops.
“This is our humble attempt to say thanks,” he added. “Our only regret is that we can’t have 10,000 of your comrades here who have made similar sacrifices.”
The troops -- from the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps -- and family members sat with the Bidens at two long tables placed in the observatory’s dining room.
The vice president, quoting English poet John Milton, said to the military family members, “‘They also serve who only stand and wait.’”
“Your loved ones, when you were in harm’s way, every single day they served this country too,” he told servicemembers in attendance. “So we owe the families a debt of gratitude.”
Five of the Bidens’ guests were in wheelchairs and many had prosthetic arms and legs.
The vice president said the United States “has only one truly sacred obligation, and that is to keep the commitment to those we send into harm’s way, that when they came back whatever their needs were we would make sure they were met.
“As time goes on [prostheses] are going to get better and better,” he continued. “You’re entitled to and we’ll make sure you have available to you whatever the most modern and most significant prosthesis capabilities are, not just in the next year or two but … as long as you live.”
Dr. Biden also welcomed the troops to her home, noting that her son, a captain in the Delaware Army National Guard, had been deployed to Iraq for nearly a year in 2008.
“I know what it means to all those thousands of families who look down their table this Thanksgiving,” she said, “and someone they love is missing because that loved one is in Iraq or Afghanistan.”
The Bidens hosted a similar event on Nov. 23, 2009.