Biden, first lady have 'Friendsgiving' meal with military troops

President BidenJoe BidenCarville advises Democrats to 'quit being a whiny party' Wendy Sherman takes leading role as Biden's 'hard-nosed' Russia negotiator Sullivan: 'It's too soon to tell' if Texas synagogue hostage situation part of broader extremist threat MORE and first lady Jill BidenJill BidenSecond gentleman Emhoff acts as public link to White House Jill Biden pitches in at donation center in Kentucky following the deadly tornados The Hill's 12:30 Report: 2021 ends with 40-year inflation high MORE visited troops on Monday for a "Friendsgiving" meal to thank them for their service and to share their own story of missing their late son around the holidays.

The Bidens spoke to U.S. service members and military families about their holidays spent without Beau Biden when he was deployed to Iraq and Kosovo. Beau died after he returned from deployment in 2015.

“I want to thank not only you warriors, I want to thank your families because they stand and wait. And I know how hard it is to have someone who is not at the table on a holiday that are in harms’ way, that find themselves out of the country because that’s what every time — our son was in Iraq for a year, before that, Kosovo,” Biden said at Fort Bragg, N.C.

ADVERTISEMENT

He called said he was proud to be commander-in-chief and thanked the service members. After his remarks, he served stuffing to troops and families while wearing an apron with the presidential seal on it. The first lady served mashed potatoes. 

About 250 people attended the Friendsgiving meal, including elected officials, service members and family members of deployed soldiers.

ADVERTISEMENT

“You’re the finest the world has ever seen and I’m so damn proud to be associated with you,” Biden said. “We came because we wanted to thank you, tell you how much we care … we owe you big. Thank you.”

Hundreds of troops lined up to greet the Bidens upon their arrive at the base. They were also greeted by Gov. Roy Cooper (D-N.C.), as well as Democratic North Carolina Reps. David PriceDavid Eugene PriceWho has the guts to resist authoritarian rule?  Clay Aiken running again for Congress because North Carolina representatives 'don't represent me' On The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood MORE, G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Democrats confront rising retirements as difficult year ends Members of Congress not running for reelection in 2022 MORE, Alma AdamsAlma Shealey AdamsAdams: Maternal health is in 'a crisis within a crisis' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud Overnight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Supreme Court weighs abortion restrictions MORE, Deborah Ross, and Kathy Manning.

“And I know what it feels like for all of your families here because you won't be home for the holidays. And I know what it's like to see that at the table and just feel like give out just how hard it is for the families. So, I want to thank all of you. That's why we came to have dinner with you to say thank you to you,” the first lady said in her remarks.

Fort Bragg is the home to over 50,000 service members and around 30,000 civilians.

“We’re so grateful for everything that you do and Joe and I feel like you know, you’re family to us and we cannot thank you enough,” she said.