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Archive for Saturday, October 4, 2008

Biden salutes troops, son heading to Iraq

October 4, 2008

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— A day after the vice presidential candidates' debate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware took a break from the campaign Friday to bid farewell to a son leaving for military duty in Iraq.

His 39-year-old son, Attorney General Beau Biden of Delaware, is part of a 110-soldier unit of the state's Army National Guard, the 261st Signal Brigade. The unit, which leaves Sunday for a yearlong tour in Iraq, gathered with family members Friday for a tearful deployment ceremony on a lawn outside the red-brick Capitol.

The Democratic nominee for vice president, known for being talkative, told the crowd that his son gave him sage advice this morning: "Keep it short, Dad. We're in formation."

Biden voted in 2002 to authorize the war in Iraq. Since then, he sharply has criticized the Bush administration's conduct of the war and called for a withdrawal of U.S. forces. Friday, he said nothing publicly about Iraq.

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