Troop care tops nation's obligations, Biden says
May 27, 2010
WASHINGTON (May 26, 2010) -- Caring for troops is the nation's "one truly sacred obligation," Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday during a dinner for wounded warriors.
"We have one truly sacred obligation: to prepare and equip those in harm's way and to care for them when they come home," Biden told about 50 wounded warriors and their families who gathered here for a poolside barbecue at the U.S. Naval Observatory, the official home of the vice president.
Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, described their personal admiration and commitment to military families, as well as that of the administration. The servicemembers were from Mologne House, a residential facility for wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and several bore the visible war wounds of amputations and blindness.
"It seems an understatement to thank you for your service and sacrifice," Biden said. Noting that he prayed every day while his son, Beau, was deployed to Iraq with the Army National Guard last year, he said he could relate "just barely" to what military families endure.
Speaking of the administration's commitment to veterans, the vice president noted the money the White House has invested in the Veterans Affairs Department. "We've put the taxpayers' money where our mouth is," he said.
With the U.S. Navy Band's country-bluegrass group playing in the background, the Bidens went from table to table meeting with the warriors and their families. Food Network host Sunny Anderson, a former Air Force broadcaster, was the chef for the evening, and she was accompanied by her uncle, Maj. Gen. Rodney Anderson, the Army's director of force management.
Dr. Biden, who recently visited Walter Reed, and First Lady Michelle Obama have made military families a focus of their attention. They hosted a White House meeting yesterday with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Deborah, as well as Cliff Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, to discuss ways to build a lasting national commitment to support and engage military families.