News   Observances

Bidens Share 'Friendsgiving' Dinner With Fort Bragg Troops, Families

Nov. 23, 2021 | BY C. Todd Lopez , DOD News

President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden enjoyed a "Friendsgiving" dinner with troops and their families last night at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden get off a plane.
Bragg Arrival
President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at Fort Bragg, N.C., Nov. 22, 2021.
Photo By: Army photo
VIRIN: 211122-A-D0439-004

The president and first lady touched on the upcoming holidays and the struggles endured by military families — struggles which are often amplified when service members are deployed during family-focused holidays.

"I want to thank your families because they stand and wait," the president told service members. "I know how hard it is to have someone who's not at the table on a holiday — that are in harm's way, that find themselves out of the country."

President Joe Biden poses with soldiers and their families.
Biden Friendsgiving
President Joe Biden poses with soldiers and their families at Fort Bragg, N.C., Nov. 22, 2021.
Photo By: Army photo
VIRIN: 211122-A-D0439-003

The president said that he and the first lady are aware of the struggles of having a family member away during the holidays because their son, Beau, served as a major in the Delaware National Guard and was away during the 2008 holidays on a year-long deployment to Iraq.

"You do so much, and your families give so much," Biden told service members. "You're the ... finest military that the world has ever seen."

President Joe Biden speaks to soldiers .
Biden Remarks
President Joe Biden speaks to soldiers during a 'Friendsgiving' dinner at Fort Bragg, N.C., Nov. 22, 2021.
Photo By: Army photo
VIRIN: 211122-A-D0439-001

Through the "Joining Forces" initiative, the first lady has made military families a major focal point of her time in the White House, both now and when her husband served as vice president.

Joining Forces is an initiative to support the families of service members, veterans, caregivers and survivors.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden speaks to soldiers.
Friendsgiving Dinner
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden speaks to soldiers during a 'Friendsgiving' dinner at Fort Bragg, N.C., Nov. 22, 2021.
Photo By: Army photo
VIRIN: 211122-A-D0439-002

"I know what it's like to see that empty seat at the table and ... just how hard it is for the families," the first lady said. "I want to thank all of you. That's why we came to have dinner with you, to say 'thank you' to you. We're so grateful for everything that you do."