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Biden tells troops they are 'the backbone' of America

Biden tells troops they are 'the backbone' of America
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President BidenJoe BidenMilitary must better understand sexual assaults to combat them The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population On The Money: Democrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit | White House confident Congress will raise debt ceiling MORE thanked members of the military at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia on Friday during a speech marking the administration’s efforts to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. 

“No other war have you gone in, served, and got back up again and got back again and again and again,” the president said, noting that many troops did multiple tours during the war in Afghanistan. 

“Once, once, wiping the blood off the seat of an up-armored Humvee is enough to get you focused. Then to saddle up the next time and go back and back again, you’re incredible,” he added.

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"Simply stated, you are the backbone of this country, you are the backbone of the country." 

Biden’s speech in Hampton, Va., comes ahead of Memorial Day weekend. The audience was made up of members of the military and their family members. 

Biden has ordered all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that sparked the war. Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden support, gas tax questions remain on infrastructure Biden to host Afghan president at White House on Friday Biden struggles to detail post-withdrawal Afghanistan plans MORE told Congress this week that U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is “slightly” ahead of schedule. 

“I can report to you today that the retrograde is proceeding on pace, indeed slightly ahead of it,” Austin said.

On Friday, Biden said that U.S. troops achieved the goal of deployment in Afghanistan, adding that threats from al Qaeda and ISIS are greater in other regions of the world. 

“You all just showed up and did your job,” he said. “You never gave up until we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.”

Biden also said he keeps a list of service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. His late son Beau Biden served in the Iraq War and died of brain cancer following his return.

“Our experience is a fraction of what so many of you and your families have gone through,” Biden said.